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UPDATE: Celebrating UC Success Announces Essay Contest Winners

Medical student, teachers, EMT among winners with inspirational,

educational stories

NEW YORK, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, in partnership with Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals (P&G), has selected seven winners for the Celebrating UC Success essay contest program that seeks to honor, educate and inspire those affected by ulcerative colitis. Winners' stories reflect a wide variety of experiences with ulcerative colitis, but all carry a message of hope and perseverance that can help educate and motivate others living with the disease, which is an unpredictable and at times, embarrassing disease of the digestive tract.

"Often times, patients indicate that hearing success stories from others with similar conditions help them realize that they can live beyond their disease," says Dan Hecht, General Manager - North America Pharmaceuticals of P&G. "Many people living with ulcerative colitis are able to live life to the fullest despite this illness and being open about the condition is an important first step in taking control."

A panel of judges representing local Foundation chapters across the country selected the seven most inspirational stories from more than 500 contestants including UC patients and their family, friends and healthcare providers. These seven essays are featured on the program's Web site, Winners will be recognized at the Foundation's National Advocacy Conference, "IBD Day on the Hill," starting May 14, 2008 in Washington, D.C. During the conference, the Celebrating UC Success winners will be able to meet with their local legislators to discuss research surrounding ulcerative colitis and will be honored at a dinner reception. The seven winners who submitted the most encouraging and creative pieces are:

Patient Winners

-- Maureen Akins, from Kent, Wash., recently celebrated her 60th birthday,

a milestone which she saw as distant and jeopardized when she was

diagnosed with UC at the age of 39. Looking back now, Maureen feels

that she was fortunate to have the guidance of a compassionate

gastroenterologist, the benefit of modern pharmaceuticals, the ongoing

research devoted to curing UC, and the support of a terrific family.

-- Elizabeth Camp, an emergency medical technician from Concord, Ga., was

diagnosed with UC when she was just eleven years old. The disease was

so advanced that she underwent several surgeries to remove her large

intestine. Elizabeth has since resumed a normal life, but her

experience as a survivor changed her as a person and has allowed her to

see the colors of the world in a new light.

-- Pamela Jefferson, from Carthage, Ill., is a wife, mother and

grandmother, a second grade teacher and active member of her church

parish. However, when diagnosed with UC fifteen years ago, she felt as

if her life centered around where bathrooms were located. Since then

she has found that the keys to living successfully with UC are prayer,

education, the right foods and medication, exercise and a good sense of


-- Patty Kunze, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., remembers that less than eight

years ago her life was jammed with doctors' visits, exhaustion, stress,

pain and uncertainty about her future. But after learning how to manage

her UC, she feels that she is no longer a UC patient first and

foremost. She is a National Board Certified eighth-grade teacher who

plays bass and trumpet in a band; she is someone who recently finished

writing her first novel; she is someone who goes contra dancing on the

weekends ... and she just happens to have UC.

-- Shervin Shafa, from Raleigh, N.C., began his battle with UC as a

teenager in college and it was during this difficult time that he

gained a great respect for the doctors who cared for him. Now, Shervin

is in his final year of medical school. He hopes that as a physician

with UC, he will be able to better relate to his patients and use his

story to motivate, inspire and encourage others with UC.

Family/Friend Winner

-- Tracy Habenicht, is a copy editor from Plainfield, Ill. who was

inspired by her close friend Keith Means, when he was recently

diagnosed with UC this past year. Tracy was surprised at how Keith, a

typical "twenty-something" guy, took responsibility by learning about

his disease, changing his diet and emotionally dealt with his illness

by confiding in her. To her, Keith is a testament to how small changes

can mean big success.

Healthcare Provider Winner

-- Robert Brown, is a pharmacist from Cambria, Calif. who consulted with

Rachel numerous times as she worked to improve her daily lifestyle with

UC. As a young woman, her condition was severely affecting her social

life, but he was impressed by how quickly she was able to get her

condition under control with medication and support.

"More than half a million Americans live with ulcerative colitis each day and the response to the Celebrating UC Success contest program from the community underscores the importance of an open dialogue among those affected by the disease," said Kimberly Frederick, Vice President of Patient & Professional Services for the Foundation. "We look forward to honoring the winners and to an exciting event in Washington, D.C."

About Celebrating UC Success

The Celebrating UC Success program launched December 2007 and entries were accepted though March 14, 2008. Entrants submitted essays in one of three categories: Ulcerative Colitis Patients, Supportive Family Members/Friends and Healthcare Providers. Every applicant was recognized for their entry and received a complimentary one-year membership to the Foundation. Semi-finalists received a $50 gift card to the Foundation's online store.

About Ulcerative Colitis

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 and/or the immune system.

About Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

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-profit organizations in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, and more than 83 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)

Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (P&GP), a division of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), has successfully developed and marketed a wide range of prescription products since the 1980s, including Actonel(R) (risedronate sodium) tablets, Asacol(R) (mesalamine) delayed-release tablets, Dantrium(R) (dantrolene sodium) capsules, Didronel(R) (etidronate disodium) tablets, Enablex(R) (darifenacin) extended release tablets and Macrobid(R) (nitrofurantoin monohydrate/macrocrystals) capsules. P&GP employs a Connect + Develop model for new product development through which it in-licenses or acquires 100 percent of its new drug development projects from biotech and pharmaceutical industry relationships. P&GP is committed to leveraging this model to build brands to address unmeet needs in the areas of gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and women's health. The P&GP community consists of more than 3,000 employees working in over 22 countries worldwide. For more information on P&GP and its prescription product portfolio, please visit

Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. P&G has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted brands in consumer health and wellness, including Align(R), Always(R), Crest(R), Metamucil(R), Oral-B(R), Pepto-Bismol(R), Prilosec OTC(R), Scope(R), Tampax(R) and Vicks(R), in addition to its leadership consumer brands, including Ariel(R), Braun(R), Bounty(R), Charmin(R), Dawn(R), Downy(R), Duracell(R), Folgers(R), Gillette(R), Head & Shoulders(R), Iams(R), Lenor(R), Mach3(R), Olay(R), Pantene(R), Pampers(R), Pringles(R), Tide(R), Wella(R) and Whisper(R). The P&G community consists of more than 135,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide. Please visit for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

Media Contacts

Ariella Levine - Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America 646-943-7430

Jeff McDowell - P&G Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 513-622-5583

Danielle Brown - Manning, Selvage & Lee PR 212-468-3194

SOURCE The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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