NEW YORK―The week of December 1-7 has been designated by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) as Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. The intention of the week is to encourage Americans to join in the effort to find cures for these diseases, help raise awareness and research.
Senate Resolution 199 expresses appreciation to the family members and caregivers who support people in the United States living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It also commends healthcare professionals who care for these patients and biomedical researchers who work to advance research aimed at developing new treatments for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
“The passage of this resolution will give hope to the millions of Americans, including a growing number of young children, who struggle with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, that we will continue to focus our attention on these very difficult diseases,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect 1 in 200 people. They are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere along the digestive track, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require numerous hospitalizations and surgery.
“These are common disorders with bad consequences, if not detected and treated early,” said Lloyd Mayer, MD, chair of CCFA’s National Scientific Advisory Committee. “Yet long delays in diagnosis and effective treatment are common because people, including primary care physicians, are not familiar with the symptoms. The average delay in diagnosis is 1-3 years and the average patient is misdiagnosed twice.”
“We are grateful to the Senate for passing this resolution because we know increased awareness of IBD can accelerate proper diagnosis and treatment,” said Richard Geswell, President of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “Our researchers are working furiously to find cures, and in the meantime, CCFA is taking care of the people suffering from these diseases.”
The lead sponsors of the resolution were Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS). The other seven Senate co-sponsors were: Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA).
In support of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America is asking people to:
• Write to their House Representatives and encourage them to join the Crohn’s and Colitis Caucus, http://capwiz.com/ccfa/home/
• Change your Facebook status to INSERT in support of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week
• Reach out to anyone you know with IBD and let them know you care
• Visit www.ccfa.org to learn more about the disease
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA’s mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD.