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The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals Announce 2009 Celebrating UC Success Contest Winners

Winners awarded with trip to California to participate in the Foundation's Orange County Take Steps event

NEW YORK, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, in partnership with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals (P&GP), announces six winners from the second annual Celebrating UC Success essay contest. Established in December 2007, Celebrating UC Success is a program that honors people who have found personal ways to manage their ulcerative colitis (UC), a form of inflammatory bowel disease. The program highlights their successes to educate and inspire other patients and UC supporters. This year's winners are being awarded a trip for two to participate in the Foundation's Take Steps walk in Orange County, California on June 28, where they will be able to meet with others affected by UC and take part in Take Steps festivities.

Building on last year's contest, which accepted essays describing patient success over the challenges of UC, this year's contest called for UC Quick Tips -- specific, "tried and true" lifestyle tips that people affected by UC have discovered through experience to help manage their disease on a daily basis. This year's contest accepted essays and video submissions, with a goal to identify ways to help patients take steps to potentially achieve their own success.

"Because UC impacts patients' lives on a daily basis, it is important that they are armed with simple techniques that can help make each day a little bit easier," said Kimberly Frederick, Vice President of Patient and Professional Services for the Foundation. "We recognize that many UC patients are able to live full, rich lives despite the challenges that accompany their disease. Through this year's contest, we wanted these patients to share their knowledge and learnings from their experiences to help others achieve daily success with their disease."

A panel of judges -- including local Foundation chapter representatives, as well as two winners from the 2008 Celebrating UC Success contest -- selected the six most encouraging Quick Tips, which were submitted either via text or video.

Meet the Winners

Lifestyle Category

  • Nathan K., College Student, Sturgeon Bay, WI. Nathan encourages other UC patients to never let UC outline or define life or your personality. A pre-k/kindergarten teacher, he teaches children to color inside and outside the lines, a philosophy he also lives by. Nathan believes it's important to remember to always think like a child and let the color of your life go where it wants to. In addition to teaching, Nathan has played college, semi-professional and competitive soccer -- sometimes with an ostomy bag -- has coached high school varsity soccer and competed in triathlons. He's currently training for an ironman race and will apply to medical school with hopes of becoming a pediatrician.
  • Nicole D., Professor of Communication Studies, Bloomsburg, PA. Nicole believes that life is a journey, not a destination, and UC has taken her on both a challenging and educational journey. At 32-years-old, Nicole considers herself a survivor because of the lifestyle she managed during her four year PhD. program. Through an inspirational video playing on the acronym "TOMORROW," Nicole encourages other UC patients to live for the moment and how to look forward to a new day.

Wellness Category

  • Bob H., Jr., College Student, Green Bay, WI. Bob's mother, age 45, has suffered from UC since 2001. In the year she was diagnosed, Bob's mother was in pain, gained 75 pounds, had no energy and felt embarrassed by her appearance. As her symptoms progressed, she spoke to a nurse who helped by ordering tests and identifying a treatment regimen that she could benefit from. As a result, Bob's mother has been in remission for more than a year, is full of energy and has lost more than 75 pounds. She credits her success to speaking openly with GI professionals who care for her.
  • Victoria H., Director of HIV/AIDS Education, Nashville, TN. Diagnosed with UC in her fifties, Victoria was forced to change her decades-long lifestyle and daily routine. She now relates to HIV/AIDS patients, with whom she works with daily, because of the amount of attention she must pay to her disease in order to keep symptoms at bay. Victoria has found that keeping active -- and playing racquetball -- is cathartic because she is able to focus her mental and physical energy on perfecting her game, toning her body and relieving stress.

Relationship Category

  • Steven W., Math Teacher, Houston, PA. A 26-year-old husband, father, teacher and coach, Steven and his family used humor to cope with the struggles of UC. He was given the nickname "semi-colon," and received a statue of a man thinking on a toilet, with a slogan that read "Wherever I go; I think of you." After his conditioned worsened and he required surgery, his children referred to his ostomy bag as "Oscar the ostomy" or "Oscar the pouch," and his sister brought his extended family together by making everyone a semi-colon shirt. As difficult as his struggle was, Steven says he could not have gotten through it without his family's sense of humor to lift his spirits.
  • Jenny S., Legal Assistant, Portland, OR. Jenny says the most important tips for UC patients are to be honest with yourself and others that you trust about your condition, even though it might be difficult. Jenny believes that laughter is the best medicine -- it breaks the ice and brings a sense of warmth to ease anxiety. She also encourages UC patients to treat themselves to stress relievers like spa treatments, being outdoors with friends and getting plenty of rest.

"Last year, we were so excited to see the passion that UC patients expressed in their essays and their willingness to share and help others in the community. This year, we wanted to build on the 2008 contest's success and bring together patients to share their inspirational experiences and advice to further make an impact in the lives of others," says Dan Hecht, General Manager - North America Pharmaceuticals. "We're proud that has truly become a resource of inspiration and guidance for many UC patients, and we hope that people affected by UC continue to use the program to promote dialogue among others affected by the disease. We look forward to honoring the 2009 contest winners at an exciting event in Orange County, California."

About Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

UC involves inflammation of the lining of the colon and rectum. It varies in clinical severity with patients having mild, moderate or severe disease. Treatment depends on the extent and severity of disease.

UC causes flares followed by periods of remission. During a flare, in which the rectum or colon become inflamed, people experience symptoms such as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramping and an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Flares can vary in duration and intensity. While UC is a lifelong condition, medication may help control flares.

UC affects people of all ages, but is often diagnosed during early adulthood. The causes of this condition are unknown, but may involve heredity, infection or the immune system.

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 ( and the American Institute of Philanthropy ( For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-932-2423 or visit

About Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG)

Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Actonel(R) (risedronate sodium) tablets, Enablex(R) (darifenacin) extended-release tablets, Prilosec OTC(R), Metamucil(R), Fibersure(R), Align(R), Pepto-Bismol(R), Vicks(R), PUR(R), Crest(R) and Oral-B(R). The P&G community consists of more than 135,000 employees working in more than 80 countries worldwide. For more information on P&GP and its prescription product portfolio, please visit

SOURCE Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
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