The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), together with construction toy company K’NEX, is set to launch “Be an IBD Superhero” this Fall to help raise funds and public awareness for the many children who are already living with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Funds collected by the CCFA will go directly to supporting ongoing and future research initiatives to find better ways to manage pediatric IBD.
This youth fundraiser is the first in the U.S. to bring together IBD resources and make them available in places where children spend most of their day, such as in schools and youth programs. The fundraiser aims to educate not only these venues’ adult members, but it also lets students themselves better understand these chronic conditions, and how best to support anyone who has them. As for children already diagnosed with IBD, the program will facilitate discussions between them and faculty/staff members on their specific needs and concerns.
With statistics showing almost 1 out of every 200 people in the US are suffering from some form of IBD, it is highly likely that schools nationwide have students dealing with this chronic illness. In fact, patients diagnosed with IBD at an age younger than 18 years old have become the fastest-growing demographic population for the disease.
“The best ways we can empower our pediatric IBD patients is to provide them the resources they need to be effective partners with their healthcare team and to demystify IBD by increasing awareness within our society,” says Sandra C. Kim, M.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
K’NEX has also enlisted the help of the CCFA’s national walk program, Take Steps, as a National Sponsor. “We are honored to be able to help this tremendous organization expand their reach to the pediatric population,” said Michael Araten, K’NEX President & CEO. “With over 1.6 million people, including over 80,000 children, suffering from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, we are thrilled to partner with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundations education programs.”
Aside from pledging financial support to the fundraiser, K’NEX will be providing an educational building set to the TOP fundraising school or youth program in each market, and all participating schools or youth programs will be eligible for a $25 credit for every $500 raised toward their very own K’NEX educational set. “The partnership with K’NEX has opened up so many doors for Take Steps and CCFA,” says Sherry Rosenfeld. “By introducing IBD awareness and education to school systems, patients are going to receive the support they need and deserve.”
To learn more about the IBD Superhero program, visit www.cctakesteps.org/ibdsuperhero.