The Issue: Bowel Disease Causes Suffering in Youth
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis drastically affect the lives of patients, nearly one in four of whom are under the age of 20. They deal with a number of debilitating symptoms—including persistent diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and malnutrition—and youth often experience delays in growth and puberty, making them appear younger and smaller than their peers. Because of chronic pain, these children also endure frequent absences from school and have a decreased ability to concentrate and cope with the demands of daily life.
The Campaign: Summer Camp Offers Time to Cope and Play
If this Grassroots campaign raises $280, then the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Florida Chapter can sponsor one child at the Camp Oasis summer camp held in Winder, Georgia. Each additional $280 raised will sponsor another child at the summer camp.
CCFA Camp Oasis provides a supportive camp community for children aged 8–18 with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. All of the youth and most of the volunteer staff have an inflammatory bowel disease, which helps to establish connections between youth, reduce feelings of isolation, and boost self-esteem. The five-day camp engages children with enriching arts programs, land and water sports, high-ropes adventure, and leadership development for older campers. A team of volunteer health-care professional remain at the camp 24 hours a day to help the children follow their prescribed medical regimen. When camp sessions conclude, the young people leave with increased self-confidence and new strategies for managing and living with their disease.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
Crohn's and Colitis Foundation
Since its founding in 1967, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) has sought the cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The National Institutes of Health commended the CCFA for its work "uniting the research community and strengthening IBD research." The CCFA established the precedent for research in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by forming its own scientific journal and educational symposiums and funding cutting-edge studies at major medical institutions. It has helped discover chromosomal regions with IBD-related genes and NOD2, the first gene for Crohn’s disease.
In addition to medical research, the CCFA runs a wide range of educational programs and support services to improve the quality of life for people affected by IBD. With awareness campaigns, webcasts, and periodicals, such as Take Charge and Under the Microscope, the organization reaches out to more than one million patients and caregivers. Nationwide chapters further this work by conducting more than 300 support groups for patients and summer camps for children every year.