You can help people like Anthony get the support they need to live an active and fulfilling life.
As you may already know, I recently commenced my role here at Crohn’s & Colitis Australia as CEO, leading our team, running our support services and advocating for people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. As part of my new role I have been meeting with, and talking to many of our patients, families, carers and medical professionals.
And along the way I learned of Anthony. Anthony is one of more than 85,000 Australians living with ulcerative colitis (which with Crohn’s disease is collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD).
Like many people with IBD, Anthony was already the father of two girls when his ulcerative colitis diagnosis changed his life. Anthony said, “I was struggling with tummy discomfort that was getting worse. My GP had no idea and sent me for all sorts of blood and stool tests, naturopaths, elimination diets” It was a long process until his GP eventually referred him to a specialist who organised a colonoscopy and he was diagnosed with IBD.
I was reminded that it’s not just the patients who are affected by IBD, but also their family members who find their lives forever changed.
In the early days, Anthony’s young daughters would have to get themselves ready for school while he was stuck all morning in the bathroom enduring pain. Over the years Anthony’s daughters have learnt how to adapt to their Dad’s needs. Anthony says, “My girls know that if we’re going to the movies or a concert to always get me an aisle seat in case I need a quick exit.”
I struggle to imagine living with constant pain, or even just the threat of it like Anthony.
This disease can have a huge impact on a person’s mental wellbeing. Anthony says, “There are definitely times when I’ll sulk and feel sorry for myself”. But he won’t let it defeat him.
Anthony is an ultra-marathon runner who uses his passion for exercise to make him physically and mentally stronger. He says, “When I went for a run when my colitis wasn’t managed, I’d be in all sorts of trouble with needing to go to the toilet urgently. I used to plan runs via service stations, parks, McDonalds, constructions sites with port-a-loos. Eventually I started doing more and more running in the bush. Because behind every tree is a toilet!”
Managing his IBD has motivated Anthony to get the most out of life. He says, “I don’t take my health for granted and I really appreciate being able to do things that maybe some people take for granted.”
At Crohn’s & Colitis Australia, we help people like Anthony so that they can also do the things that the rest of us take for granted. But we need your help now.
Right now 85,000 Australians are living with IBD. It is expected that by 2022 that number will grow beyond 100,000.
Anthony recommends to any one diagnosed with IBD to get expert advice and learn about how to take care of your own body. Most of all Anthony advises patients to, “Stay mentally strong and be determined not to let this disease define you or control you. But accept that living with it will change you.”
At Crohn’s & Colitis Australia, we do this by being there for people with IBD, providing confidential support programs, connecting members of the community to each other, providing platforms for people to share their stories; and importantly raising awareness of IBD in the broader Australian community.
We also raise much needed funds for research into a cure, lobbying the Federal Government to ensure much needed medicines are listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, and advocating for world’s best treatments, giving Australians access to affordable treatment and helping them live a normal life.
We are grateful to Anthony for sharing his story with you and together we celebrate his amazing achievements. Anthony’s story inspires us our reason for being; to help others with IBD live life to the full.
At Crohn’s & Colitis Australia we will be there for the other thousands of Australians battling this disease.
Are you in a position to donate today to ensure people like Anthony get the support and advocacy they need to live an active and fulfilling life?
Please donate before Saturday 30 June and help people like Anthony live a fulfilling life.
Alternatively you can call us on 1800 138 029 for more information on regular giving. Please Note: all donations over $2 are tax deductible and a receipt will be sent to you for taxation purposes.
Thanks again for your continued support of our work. Your support means we can continue to provide vital support programs to support people with IBD to thrive.
Chief Executive Officer
Crohn’s & Colitis Australia
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