World IBD Day is taking place on May 19, and more than 40 different nations throughout the world are already preparing to participate in the celebration. The initiative is organized every year on the same date in order to raise awareness about the burden of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two most common types of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
The annual event organized by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and the European Federation of Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA) is focused on a global video campaign seeking to engage the maximum number of patients possible among the five million people who suffer from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis worldwide. The idea is to encourage patients to share their experience in a short video under the theme “United We Stand.”
“Cases of inflammatory bowel diseases are growing at an alarming rate worldwide, including in some of the most impoverished countries in the world,” stated the co-chair of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s Patient Education Committee, Raymond Cross in a press release. “World IBD Day gives the IBD medical and patient community an opportunity to join forces in the fight to raise awareness and help find cures.”
“It’s wonderful to see so many countries coming together in an effort to raise awareness for these devastating diseases,” added the president and CEO of CCFA, Richard Geswell. “The internet and universal appeal of videos, makes this an easy way for everyone to connect and get involved no matter where they are located.”
In order to participate in the campaign, any patient, family member or friend, caregiver, gastroenterologist or nurse can submit a video on YouTube with their story. The videos are requested to last no more than 20 seconds, as well as include the name, city and country, two sentences on the impact of the IBD in their life and ending with the message “United we stand in the fight against IBD.”
The videos are going to be published on May 19 on the World IBD Day website here, and there is also a hashtag being used on social media, #UnitedWeStand2015. The CCFA will also lead a live Twitter Q&A conversation at 4pm EDT of the World IBD Day, during which members of the CCFA’s IBD Help Center are going to answer questions from patients on IBD. It can be followed through the #WorldIBDDayQA hashtag.