Matthew Sebastiani wins the 2023 Finkelstein Award for an outstanding volunteer

Matthew Sebastiani, winner of the 2023 Finkelstein Award

Matthew Sebastiani has won the prestigious Finkelstein Award recognizing someone who has made a major impact to advance our mission to find cures for Crohn’s and colitis and help everyone affected by these diseases in Canada.

Matthew has been a volunteer since 2016 when he attended his first Gutsy Walk and was invited to get involved. He turned his ulcerative colitis diagnosis into positive change for the Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis community – locally in the Vancouver area and across the country.

As Matthew says, “With so many people suffering with these diseases, I made it my goal to use my voice to raise awareness and fundraise for a cure.”  

Over the years, Matthew has used his skills to make a meaningful impact in a variety of ways. He is the President of the Vancouver Chapter, a tight-knit group of volunteers who provide peer support and organize fundraising events. He is also the Chair for the Vancouver Gutsy Walk. He is an advocate for those living with Crohn’s and colitis, and has expanded washroom access through the GoHere program. He has taken on several committee leadership positions including serving on the Volunteer Advisory Committee and co-chairing our Volunteer Engagement Discovery Committee. 

Marilyn Finkelstein, one of the co-founders of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, said: “Matthew has shared his experiences to educate and inspire others. He has gotten involved in every way possible. Those who work with Matthew describe him as kind, welcoming, passionate and driven. Our progress is made possible by champions of our cause like Matthew.”

The Finkelstein family, co-founders of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, wanted this award to be ‘hug’ for a deserving individual for achievement in the field of Crohn’s and colitis.

Read more about Matthew's recent impact with the GoHere program to see first-hand the difference he is making

Thank you for all that you do, Matthew!

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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