IBD foundation raises call for awareness

Ottawa resident Sherry Pang has been living with Crohn’s disease for almost 30 years.

Ottawa resident Sherry Pang has been living with Crohn’s disease for almost 30 years.

She believes the lack of public awareness of the disease has to do with the large social stigma around it.

“There is a lot of discrimination associated with having a bowel disease that really has a lot to do with lack of understanding,” said Pang.

Diagnosed with Crohn’s at 18, Pang said it took her many years to accept and eventually talk about her disease.

“People don’t really talk about it — it’s not exactly popular dinnertime conversation,” she said.

A board member of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada in Ottawa, Pang hopes an online declaration launched by the foundation yesterday will help improve the quality of life for those living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

The Crohn’s and Colitis Declaration is a call to action for Canadians to recognize the needs of those with IBD and to show their support for the cause.

Pang said she hopes, with the expansion of the foundation’s resources, people being diagnosed with IBD in the future will have an easier time talking about it.

“I think if you were to talk to anybody with IBD, besides wanting a cure, they would most want there to be a greater understanding of the disease,” she said.

Over 200,000 Canadians are living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Canada has among the highest prevalence and incidence rates of IBD in the world, with 9,200 new cases reported every year, the foundation said.

 
 
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