I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in June of 2014. It's hard to believe it's only been four years living with this disease, I can hardly remember a time before it. Failed medications, missed classes, lots of trips to the bathroom, missing out on social outings, lack of energy, stomach pain, probable colon removal, etc... I could make a near endless list of negative aspects regarding my current situation with IBD but if there's one thing living with a chronic illness has taught me, it's that I'd rather focus on the positive.
Since being diagnosed I have been fortunate enough to meet amazing people and do amazing things while being an active member of the Crohn's and Colitis community. I am currently in my second term of chair of the Queen's Crohn's and Colitis Committee, and am now also currently Crohn's and Colitis Canada's Kingston Youth Engagement Lead. I had a goal two years ago to have a youth network for kids with Crohn's and Colitis, and the steps are currently underway to make that happen in Kingston. I have hosted a national webinar, speaking on managing mental health while living with a chronic illness. I have also been a camp counsellor at Camp Got2Go for two summers, meeting and becoming friends with some of the most inspiring children living with IBD. Not bad for someone who goes to the washroom 4+ times a day.
I have seen first hand where your donated funds end up. They go to help underprivileged kids pay for a chance to spend a week at camp where for the only time in their life they are treated as normal. They go to funding incredible research projects, some of which I have conducted myself. They go to creating a scholarship for helping students pay for an education. I ask you to help me, and the rest of the thousands of Canadians living with IBD, move towards a future free of Crohn's and colitis.
Thank you for your support,