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Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Encourages More Virtual Event Participants: Thousands Already Helped Foundation Raise Funds for Research & Support Legislation
Date:9/21/2009

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY) today announced that more than 6,800 Facebook® users have participated in its first-ever virtual “Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) March on the Hill” at www.ibdmarchonthehill.com. Using social media tools, the program aims to promote awareness about and raise funds for research and programs supporting those battling Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, chronic and painful digestive diseases impacting more than 1.4 million Americans. Website visitors are asked to show their support by selecting a unique shoe to place on the virtual “Hill” and are able to see how their step has impacted the total number of steps taken to date.

New York, NY (Vocus) September 21, 2009 -— The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPGY) today announced that more than 6,800 Facebook® users have participated in its first-ever virtual “Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) March on the Hill” at www.ibdmarchonthehill.com. Using social media tools, the program aims to promote awareness about and raise funds for research and programs supporting those battling Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, chronic and painful digestive diseases impacting more than 1.4 million Americans. Website visitors are asked to show their support by selecting a unique shoe to place on the virtual “Hill” and are able to see how their step has impacted the total number of steps taken to date.


The virtual march is driving attention to a widget that allows users to take a virtual "step" around the National Mall in Washington, DC and rallying support around the Foundation’s IBD Research and Awareness Act in the House and Senate, which would:

 
  • Encourage Congress to provide funding to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease at NIH for expanded research on IBD.
  • Authorize, for five years, an IBD Epidemiology Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Authorize the establishment of a Pediatric IBD Patient Registry at the CDC.
  • Authorize the establishment of an IBD Awareness Program at the CDC.
By writing their local representatives and asking their friends and family to contact their legislators, Crohn’s and colitis advocates are spreading the word about the potential benefits of the IBD Research and Awareness Act.

Shire will donate $1 per footstep to CCFA for research, education and support initiatives for each of the first 30,000 steps taken. The program, which concludes in December, will continue to drive much-needed support to complement its advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.

About CCFA’s Advocacy Program
Advocacy is a major component of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's mission. CCFA advocates are not only patients, but family members, friends, caregivers, and doctors who want to make their voices heard and see a future free from Crohn's and colitis. Foundation advocates are calling for increased Federal funding for Crohn's and colitis research and awareness programs designed to improve the lives of patients. The Foundation encourages its members, volunteers, and friends to become actively involved in advancing our public policy goals. By sharing personal stories and providing crucial information about the impact of these devastating diseases, our advocates inform and inspire elected representatives in Congress. For more information on how Advocates can make their voices heard, visit http://www.ccfa.org/advocacy/?LMI=9.

About Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere from the mouth to the anus, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35.

About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, with more than 81 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends goes to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance (give.org) and the American Institute of Philanthropy (charitywatch.org). For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-932-2423 or visit www.ccfa.org.

About SHIRE PLC
Shire’s strategic goal is to become the leading specialty biopharmaceutical company that focuses on meeting the needs of the specialist physician. Shire focuses its business on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), human genetic therapies (HGT) and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases as well as opportunities in other therapeutic areas to the extent they arise through acquisitions. Shire’s in-licensing, merger and acquisition efforts are focused on products in specialist markets with strong intellectual property protection and global rights. Shire believes that a carefully selected and balanced portfolio of products with strategically aligned and relatively small-scale sales forces will deliver strong results.

For further information on Shire, please visit the Company’s website: www.shire.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Ariella Levine
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
646-943-7430

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/ccfamarchonthehill/2009/prweb2907604.htm.


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