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First Annual Observance of World IBD Day Draws Awareness to Growing Global Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Date:4/29/2010

istributed at the conference.

“Our Foundation is thrilled to be officially joining forces with an international group of patient-based organizations who share in our goals of promoting IBD research and supporting patients and families with the education they need to do well,” says Rick Geswell, President of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “It is crystal-clear that the challenges and opportunities of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis do not respect national borders.”

“We believe there are synergies in research endeavors and opportunities to ease patient suffering by sharing information and approaches with a world-wide community. World IBD Day is a great symbol for what we can achieve in a broader, global context,” added Marco Greco, Chairman of the European Federation of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA), which represents 23 European nations.

From a patient perspective, IBD can be isolating and it is important for others to know they are not alone. To complement World IBD efforts, celebrities such as NHL hockey player Fernando Pisani are helping to decrease the isolation and stigma of IBD by sharing their experiences. Since his diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, the Edmonton Oiler right winger has become a leading advocate for people with IBD in Canada.

“Hockey players often take their health for granted,” says Pisani. “That all changed for me in 2005 when I started feeling sick. I lost about 40 pounds and lots of blood. You play 80 to 100 hockey games a year with pre-season and the playoffs and you start to feel invincible, then something like this comes along and knocks you out."

IBD patient groups are also joining forces for the first time with the World Gastroenterology Organization, thus bringing together patient and medical organizations. Every year, the WGO launches a digestive health campaign entitled &ld
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