The Issue: Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Surgery
About 1.4 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis—according to data from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. That organization also publishes a brochure that states roughly 23%–45% of people with ulcerative colitis and up to 75% of people with Crohn's disease will eventually need surgery such as a proctocolectomy, which is the removal of the colon and rectum. Other procedures can also help, such as ostomy surgery or an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, which fashions the lower portion of the small intestine—the ileum—into a J-, S-, or W- shaped pouch.
The Campaign: Sending Postsurgery Care Packages to Girls
If 30 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then Girls With Guts can send care packages to 10 girls with inflammatory bowel disease who recently underwent J-pouch or ostomy surgery. The care packages will include specific, practical items needed for recovery as well as items to boost each girl's spirits. Each additional $30 raised will provide a care package to another girl who recently had the surgery.
Girls With Guts
Charis Kirk and Jackie Zimmerman—two young women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—met online after they started chronicling their fight with IBD. They have had 15 surgeries combined and fought through the highs and lows of recovery. Throughout their journeys, the duo supported each other and was inspired to encourage other girls and young women with IBD to be confident and proud, regardless of what's happening with their disease. The Girls With Guts website serves as an online community where women can share their stories about explaining the disease to friends or being pregnant with an ostomy bag, among others.