IBD & Ostomy Awareness: It’s More Than A Ribbon, It’s A Movement.
Thank You Crohn’s Advocate magazine for helping get the word out. See the spring issue with an article about the Ribbon’s creators. The cover story features Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready.
The Ribbon also gained lots of exposure and generated excitement at the WOCN conference in June, 2012.
Here’s what people are saying….
Read what Dr. William Holderman, board-certified gastroenterologist at Digestive Health Specialists in Tacoma has to say about the ribbon.Click Here
“A new awareness ribbon has arrived in Fort Collins. The IBD & Ostomy Awareness Ribbon is on a mission to reverse the negative perception surrounding Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, better known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBD, and ostomy surgery. The ribbon is chocolate brown, has a red crystal in the center, and cream-colored lettering. This design and color combination sparks needed dialogue that leads to education, awareness, support and empowerment. But why a brown ribbon?…”Read More
IBD & Ostomy Awareness Ribbon Debuts to Create Awareness, Educate, and Dispel Fear
In February, 2011, a new awareness ribbon debuted on lapels to raise awareness for the estimated 1.4 million Americans living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and the estimated 600,000-750,000 Americans who have undergone ostomy surgery due to colorectal, bladder cancer, IBD, or birth defects; 75,000 new procedures are performed annually.
The idea for the ribbon is a collaborative effort by Lois Fink and Barb Wodzin who have each had challenges with Crohn’s disease, with one now living an active life following ostomy surgery. Lois, who lives in Edmonds, Washington, had symptoms of Crohn’s disease at the age of eleven which progressed into her teen years, was misdiagnosed by numerous physicians as nervous–until she collapsed in high school weighing 62 pounds, and rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. She woke up instead to the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. In spite of a restrictive diet, steroid therapy, and a second bowel resection, the disease spread through Lois’ colon and rectum over the next seventeen years causing humiliating accidents due to bowel incontinence, until in 1986, she made the decision to have her colon and rectum removed resulting in a permanent ileostomy. Today, Lois leads an active, pain-free, medication-free lifestyle, and wishes she’d consented to ostomy surgery sooner. “Sadly, there are many fears surrounding this surgery, assisted by the media’s reluctance to negate them, and in some cases, adding to the negativity, that people would rather die than live a full, active life with an ostomy.” Barb Wodzin, from Seattle, Washington, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1997. The diagnosis finally came after six months of tests. Exhausted from hours spent in the bathroom with persistent diarrhea, Barb was forced to take a leave of absence from her job. It took a full year of treatment before she began to feel “normal” again and see her symptoms begin to lessen. “IBD support groups were a huge help,” she says. “It was so great to meet people who understood the pain and embarrassment of this disease. The awareness ribbon will help spread the word and get people talking.” Today Barb actively volunteers on various advocacy projects and lives an active life and her disease is in remission. Both women hope the ribbon will raise awareness and begin a dialogue about IBD and ostomy surgery. When asked why the color brown, Lois just laughs. The “end product” we are dealing with is brown. A beautiful, rich, brown ribbon with a small, red jewel in the center-which was Barb’s idea- representing the stoma just makes perfect sense!”
Proceeds from ribbon sales will be donated to Get Your Guts in Gear, and the IBD Quilt Project. Get Your Guts in Gear (GYGIG) is a not-for-profit organization that raises awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and related conditions through multi-day cycling events; www.ibdride.org. The IBD Quilt Project, a non profit organization, generates public awareness for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, colon cancer, and ostomy surgery. Crafted by and for the IBD community, the quilts provide an outlet to express the thoughts and experience of living with these chronic diseases, as they tour the country for education and support; www.ibdquilt.org.
To order the IBD & Ostomy Awareness Ribbon, email firstname.lastname@example.org; suggested donation is $5.00 or follow this link:Get A Ribbon