Toronto, ON, November 6, 2014
– Canada has among the highest rates of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the world, with almost 233,000 Canadian adults and children living with these debilitating diseases that inflame the gastrointestinal (GI) tract; 129,000 with Crohn’s and 140,000 with colitis. Today, Crohn’s and colitis impact 2.5 times the number of Canadians as multiple sclerosis.
The age of onset is most commonly in the early 20’s, however, Canadian children are increasingly diagnosed, particularly those under the age of 10. Despite escalating rates of diagnosis, few people have even heard of these chronic, lifelong diseases.
This November, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is launching its first‐ever national public awareness campaign: Make it stop. For life. The campaign coincides with Crohn’s and colitis national awareness month and will provide bilingual public service announcements (PSAs) to media outlets across Canada for placement across five platforms: television, radio, print, digital and transit. The PSAs speak to the experiences people living with Crohn’s and colitis have behind closed bathroom doors, alone and isolated by shame and embarrassment. The goal of this campaign is to inspire Canadians to find ways to help Make it stop. For life.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is determined to bring the disease out from behind closed doors. It’s time to end the stigma and talk frankly about a disease that affects far too many people, robbing them of opportunities in school, work and relationships.
As part of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is hosting 14 Education Symposiums from coast‐to‐coast, with several local fundraising events taking place, including the Toronto All That Glitters Gala on November 18, featuring celebrity guest Howie Mandel. Some provincial legislatures and local sites in Quebec City, St. John’s, Winnipeg, Niagara Falls, and Vancouver will be lit up in honour of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month. On Thursday, November 20, Lindee David, CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, will introduce Dr. Eric Benchimol, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa, at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto. Dr. Benchimol will speak about the economic impact of Crohn’s and colitis, both nationally and for the individuals who live with the diseases.
Prolonged and frequent diarrhea is the most common outward symptom for many people dealing with Crohn’s and colitis. Most people living with the disease also experience intense and ongoing abdominal pain from ulceration and internal bleeding, while coping with disease‐related depression and fatigue. The social stigma related to Crohn’s and colitis creates further isolation beyond the physical aspects of the disease. In the absence of a cure, current therapies are directed at maintaining freedom from symptoms. Most people require medication; when this fails, surgery is often required.
The Make it stop. For life. awareness campaign also lays the groundwork for the public launch of the new Crohn’s & Colitis – Make it stop. For life. fundraising campaign. The fundraising campaign’s goals are to raise $100 million by 2020 to invest in transformational research, education and advocacy so that every child and adult with Crohn’s and colitis can live their lives to the fullest. Launched quietly last year, the Make it stop. For life. fundraising campaign has already raised 20 per cent of its goal.
About Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is a volunteer‐based registered charity that is dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and to improving the lives of children and adults affected by these chronic diseases. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada provides education, advocacy and awareness activities across Canada to people living with these diseases, their families, healthcare professionals and the general public.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is uniquely positioned to stop these diseases. The organization is at the core of inflammatory bowel disease research in Canada and is a powerhouse on the world stage. To date, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has invested over $88 million in major research projects and is Canada’s largest non governmental funder of Crohn’s and colitis research. To learn more, visit crohnsandcolitis.ca
For more information or to arrange an interview with a local representative of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, please contact: