Vanderbilt Dream Team
If you haven’t heard of inflammatory bowel disease before, you might be surprised to hear that it affects ~3.1 million Americans and more than 10 Million people worldwide. Many people with IBD suffer silently, living with recurrent abdominal pain and bowel complications during ‘flare-ups.’ More than 20% of colitis patients and more than 70% of Crohn’s patients will require surgery at some point throughout the course of their disease. However, even after surgically removing the diseased segments of intestine, many patients will experience a full recurrence in their symptoms in less than 3 years. That’s why we must fight so hard to develop for cures for these diseases.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working for the past 2.5 years on a project in the lab that hopes to shed light on this disease. We work extremely hard every day with the hope that our work can contribute to a cure and improve the lives of patients. Anyone in this field can tell you how challenging it is to develop a cure for complex diseases like IBD. Even the most promising drugs can fall short when tested in human clinical trials. But with every experiment, we learn something important…and we get one more step closer.
That’s why foundations like the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation are SO important. The Foundation has donated over $350 million towards research and has supported all of the major discoveries in IBD research. In fact, the Foundation funds more than 200 active research projects every year. The rest of their money is used to support patient outreach and educational programs. I’ve witnessed the amazing programs that the Foundation provides in Nashville firsthand and have been blown away by the wonderful support network they’ve developed here. It was for this reason that I decided to join the local Junior Board nearly 2 years ago.
Next month, we’ll be hosting the Take Steps walk, which is our biggest fundraising event of the season, in which more than 80% of all donations will be channeled directly towards funding the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundations mission of finding cures! But we need your help!! Anything counts- even $5! Please do what you can to support this great cause. And even better, if you’re in the Nashville area, it would be amazing if you can join my team for the walk! Linda and I will be bringing Cameron along and we’d love to see you there!