Why I Became an IBD Advocate
We are celebrating Crohn's and Colitis Awareness all month long! Awareness and understanding of the condition rely heavily on advocacy. You might be thinking, "How can I advocate for the condition?" or "Am I already advocating by spreading awareness?" There are many different types of advocates and ways to spread awareness.
Advocacy does not always come naturally for everyone living with a chronic condition. What comes to mind when you think of being an advocate? Does it mean making calls to Congress for legislation change? Does it mean leading grassroots events in your area? Could it be as simple as sharing your story online so that others feel less alone?
One way our InflammatoryBowelDisease.net community advocates share awareness is through writing.
We asked the advocates, "Why do you advocate for IBD?" Here is what they said:
Sharing support and knowledge with others
"I advocate to help others and share the knowledge I've acquired over 30 years of suffering from Crohn's disease." – Matt
"I advocate for better treatment pathways. I advocate for everyone with IBD who’s struggling to be heard. I advocate so no one has to feel alone." – Sahara
Advocacy for those who are newly diagnosed
"I advocate for IBD because I strive to be the voice I desperately needed to hear upon diagnosis and as I navigated career, love, and planning for a family." – Natalie
"I advocate for IBD patients so nobody feels as alone, overwhelmed, or hopeless as I did in the years surrounding my Crohn's disease diagnosis." – Amanda
"I advocate for the patients who have been left behind feeling isolated, confused, and uneducated. I advocate for others because I needed someone to advocate for me when I was first diagnosed. I try to be the person I needed when I was younger for the people who don’t have that education and support yet." – Kelly
Are you interested in becoming an advocate for the Crohn's and colitis community?
What is your comfort level disclosing your IBD to your employer?