Today, December 1, 2011 is the start of the newly-officiated National Crohn's & Colitis (IBD) Awareness Week!
The proposal for this awareness week was introduced to congress by Senate Resolution 199 by Senator Harry Reid and passed by unanimous consent on Nov 14, 2011.
Here is the full text of the now in-effect resolution (as shown on GovTrack.us):
Supporting the goals and ideals of ‘Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week’.
Whereas Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are serious, chronic inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
Whereas Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease, afflict approximately 1,400,000 people in the United States, 30 percent of whom are diagnosed as children;
Whereas the cause of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are unknown and no medical cure exists;
Whereas Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can affect anyone, at any age, and is being diagnosed with increased frequency in children;
Whereas Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients are at high risk for developing colorectal cancer;
Whereas a lack of awareness among health professionals and the general public may contribute to the misdiagnosis and mismanagement of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis;
Whereas the annual direct cost of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the United States is estimated to be $6,100,000,000;
Whereas the goals of ‘Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week’ are--
(1) to invite and encourage all people in the United States to join the effort to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis;
(2) to engage in activities aimed at raising awareness of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis among the general public and health care providers; and
(3) to promote and support biomedical research needed to find better treatments and a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; and
Whereas the week of December 1, 2011, through December 7, 2011, has been designated ‘Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week’: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate--
(1) supports the goals and ideals of ‘Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week’;
(2) encourages media organizations to participate in ‘Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week’ by helping to educate the general public about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis;
(3) recognizes all people in the United States living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and expresses appreciation to the family members and caregivers who support them; and
(4) commends the dedication of health care professionals and biomedical researchers who care for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients and work to advance basic, genetic, and clinical research aimed at developing new treatments and a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
So have a great week, and if you or someone you love has Crohn's or Colitis, let them know how much you care! Open up the communication lines about these conditions. The more aware the public is, the more funding gets behind research into the cause and cure.
To me, this week is about connecting. It's about connecting with other patients to bond over our shared experiences, to learn, and most of all be in the comfort of one another as we rally together forward to find a cure.
Now you tell the world: What does IBD Awareness Week mean to you?
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