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Friday, December 27, 2013

Meet Ayla: A Young Patient Living Through the Fight of Her Life

Before the Year Ends I would like to share with you a touching story about a 2 year old little girl by the name of Ayla who was diagnose with Crohn's. In so many ways, Ayla is just like any other toddler. She loves to play and have fun. However, many things set her apart from others her age: she consumes all of her food through a gastrostomy tube, gets a nightly medication that suppresses her immune system, spends one day out of every seven weeks in the hospital for an IV drug infusion, visits a different doctor almost weekly, vomits once or more a day, and often cries when she goes to the bathroom. For most of her life, two-year-old Ayla has been battling Crohn’s disease. Her painful IBD symptoms started when she was just six-months-old. Her case baffled all the doctors; they had not seen a child this young with Crohn’s disease. To this day, she is still the youngest IBD patient her gastroenterologist sees. “I don’t even think she’s fully grasped that she has a disease. I don’t think she gets that she’s different from anybody else,” says Ayla’s mother Meno. “She’s either going to feel bad and be at home… or we can take her outside so she can be a participant in life.” As difficult as it is to live with Crohn’s disease, Ayla and her family are finding the strength to still live fully and happily. Ayla’s older brother Jonah is fully aware of his sister’s debilitating disease and explains to people how she has to be fed through feeding tubes. With all of Ayla’s treatments, the family faced the stress of unbearable medical bills before family and friends stepped in to help. Meno admits to having suffered from deep depression and anxiety when Ayla was first diagnosed. To try and cope, she got involved with Team Challenge, which she calls a “life-changer” for her and her family. “It made me feel super empowered, rather than feeling like a victim of the disease,” she adds. “Without having a focus on something positive, it’s easy to get swept up in the horror of the disease in your family.” Though the family has found ways to manage, Ayla’s daily life will constantly be affected by IBD forever, unless cures are found. From now through the end of the year, your donation will be doubled and help lead us to cures, hopefully in Ayla’s lifetime. Learn more when you visit: .

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


As Christmas is coming to a close for Millions I am reminded of what this day is truly ALL about the Celebration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today I was so filled with Joy spending time with the ones I Love. So I hope yours Christmas was filled with Great tiding of Great Cheer because I know mine was filled with such amazing tidings of Cheer. My Heart was filled with such GREAT and UNSPEAKABLE Joy this Christmas season. Think of it! The baby of Bethlehem became the living, risen Christ who has rescued us from our sin. And so John instructs us to “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). May all who have experienced His rescue find in Jesus the peace of walking in His light. —Bill Crowder Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light; The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in Thee tonight. —Brooks The newborn Christ-child became the Light of the world and the Lamb of God. My prayer is that your Christmas was filled with GREAT JOY! MERRY CHRISTMAS! to you ALL.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Ok so today I am so honored to share this Special Birthday with none other than the Legendary Latin-Jazz Drummer and Percussionist Sheila E YES! I know this may sound so CRAZY but unfortunately it is NOT YES, I am born on her BIRTHDAY in the same State Sheila E was born in Northern California and I was born in Southern California the only thing that is different is the years she was born in 1957 and I was born in 1981. So you see by the time I came along Sheila E was already in her career. So growing up all I heard was that I was born on Sheila E's Birthday, so today I considerate it such an honored and blessings to share this day with her. Many may think that Jennifer Lopez is my SHERO and Inspiration which she is BUT before Jennifer Lopez there was Sheila, Sheila is my SHERO and Inspiration. So next year this time I am so looking forward to Celebrating our BIRTHDAY'S together. HAPPIE BIRTHDAY 2 US GURL! May God continue 2 richly bless us Now and Always.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Celebrating the Man we call Tata Madiba-Nelson Mandela

On December 5, 2013 the World lost a man that was the epitmy of Change he was our modern day Mahatma Grandhi,Martin Luther King, Malcolm X. As an African American Woman who is very PROUD of her culture and people my Heart is sadden for the lost of the South African leader who was my HERO. So here is his story Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, on July 18, 1918, to Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela, principal counsellor to the Acting King of the Thembu people, Jongintaba Dalindyebo. His father died when he was a child and the young Rolihlahla became a ward of Jongintaba at the Great Place in Mqhekezweni. Hearing the elder’s stories of his ancestor’s valour during the wars of resistance, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people. He attended primary school in Qunu where his teacher Miss Mdingane gave him the name Nelson, in accordance with the custom to give all school children “Christian” names. He completed his Junior Certificate at Clarkebury Boarding Institute and went on to Healdtown, a Wesleyan secondary school of some repute, where he matriculated. Nelson Mandela began his studies for a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University College of Fort Hare but did not complete the degree there as he was expelled for joining in a student protest. He completed his BA through the University of South Africa and went back to Fort Hare for his graduation in 1943. On his return to the Great Place at Mkhekezweni the King was furious and said if he didn’t return to Fort Hare he would arrange wives for him and his cousin Justice. They ran away to Johannesburg instead arriving there in 1941. There he worked as a mine security officer and after meeting Walter Sisulu, an estate agent, who introduced him to Lazar Sidelsky. He then did his articles through the firm of attorneys Witkin Eidelman and Sidelsky. Meanwhile he began studying for an LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand. By his own admission he was a poor student and left the university in 1948 without graduating. He only started studying again through the University of London and also did not complete that degree. In 1989, while in the last months of his imprisonment, he obtained an LLB through the University of South Africa. He graduated in absentia at a ceremony in Cape Town. Nelson Mandela, while increasingly politically involved from 1942, only joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped formed the ANC Youth League. In 1944 he married Walter Sisulu’s cousin Evelyn Mase, a nurse. They had two sons Madiba Thembekile ‘Thembi’ and Makgatho and two daughters both called Makaziwe, the first of whom died in infancy. They effectively separated in 1955 and divorced in 1958. Nelson Mandela rose through the ranks of the ANCYL and through its work the ANC adopted in 1949 a more radical mass-based policy, the Programme of Action. In 1952 he was chosen at the National Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign with Maulvi Cachalia as his Deputy. This campaign of civil disobedience against six unjust laws was a joint programme between the ANC and the South African Indian Congress. He and 19 others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act for their part in the campaign and sentenced to nine months hard labour suspended for two years. A two-year diploma in law on top of his BA allowed Nelson Mandela to practice law and in August 1952 he and Oliver Tambo established South Africa’s first black law firm, Mandela and Tambo. At the end of 1952 he was banned for the first time. As a restricted person he was only able to secretly watch as the Freedom Charter was adopted at Kliptown on 26 June 1955. Nelson Mandela was arrested in a countrywide police swoop of 156 activists on 5 December 1955, which led to the 1956 Treason Trial. Men and women of all races found themselves in the dock in the marathon trial that only ended when the last 28 accused, including Mr. Mandela were acquitted on 29 March 1961. On 21 March 1960 police killed 69 unarmed people in a protest at Sharpeville against the pass laws. This led to the country’s first state of emergency on 31 March and the banning of the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress on 8 April. Nelson Mandela and his colleagues in the Treason Trial were among the thousands detained during the state of emergency. During the trial on 14 June 1958 Nelson Mandela married a social worker Winnie Madikizela. They had two daughters Zenani and Zindziswa. The couple divorced in 1996. Days before the end of the Treason Trial Nelson Mandela travelled to Pietermaritzburg to speak at the All-in Africa Conference, which resolved he should write to Prime Minister Verwoerd requesting a non-racial national convention, and to warn that should he not agree there would be a national strike against South Africa becoming a republic. As soon as he and his colleagues were acquitted in the Treason Trial Nelson Mandela went underground and began planning a national strike for 29, 30 and 31 March. In the face of a massive mobilization of state security the strike was called off early. In June 1961 he was asked to lead the armed struggle and helped to establish Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation). On 11 January 1962 using the adopted name David Motsamayi, Nelson Mandela left South Africa secretly. He travelled around Africa and visited England to gain support for the armed struggle. He received military training in Morocco and Ethiopia and returned to South Africa in July 1962. He was arrested in a police roadblock outside Howick on 5 August while returning from KwaZulu-Natal where he briefed ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli about his trip. He was charged with leaving the country illegally and inciting workers to strike. He was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment which he began serving in Pretoria Local Prison. On 27 May 1963 he was transferred to Robben Island and returned to Pretoria on 12 June. Within a month police raided a secret hide-out in Rivonia used by ANC and Communist Party activists and several of his comrades were arrested. In October 1963 Nelson Mandela joined nine others on trial for sabotage in what became known as the Rivonia Trial. Facing the death penalty his words to the court at the end of his famous ‘Speech from the Dock’ on 20 April 1964 became immortalized: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” On 11 June 1964 Nelson Mandela and seven other accused Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni were convicted and the next day were sentenced to life imprisonment. Denis Goldberg was sent to Pretoria Prison because he was white while the others went to Robben Island. Nelson Mandela’s mother died in 1968 and his eldest son Thembi in 1969. He was not allowed to attend their funerals. On 31 March 1982 Nelson Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town with Sisulu, Mhlaba and Mlangeni. Kathrada joined them in October. When he returned to the prison in November 1985 after prostate surgery Nelson Mandela was held alone. Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee had visited him in hospital. Later Nelson Mandela initiated talks about an ultimate meeting between the apartheid government and the ANC. In 1988 he was treated for Tuberculosis and was transferred on 7 December 1988 to a house at Victor Verster Prison near Paarl. He was released from its gates on Sunday 11 February 1990, nine days after the unbanning of the ANC and the PAC and nearly four months after the release of the remaining Rivonia comrades. Throughout his imprisonment he had rejected at least three conditional offers of release. Nelson Mandela immersed himself into official talks to end white minority rule and in 1991 was elected ANC President to replace his ailing friend Oliver Tambo. In 1993 he and President FW de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize and on 27 April 1994 he voted for the first time in his life. On 10 May 1994 he was inaugurated South Africa’s first democratically elected President. On his 80th birthday in 1998 he married Graça Machel, his third wife. True to his promise Nelson Mandela stepped down in 1999 after one term as President. He continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he set up in 1995 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela-Rhodes Foundation. In April 2007 his grandson Mandla Mandela became head of the Mvezo Traditional Council at a ceremony at the Mvezo Great Place. Nelson Mandela never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life has been an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived, to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation. Nelson Mandela Dead: South African Peace Leader Remembered as Fighter President Barack Obama pays tribute to Madiba Soweto Gospel Choir - Nkosi Sikelel (South African National Anthem)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Today we STOP and Remember those that fought and lost their lives on this day. We honor our HERO'S that served on that faithful December 7, 1941 "A Date That Will Live In Infamy" PEARL HARBOR WE REMEMBER.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Celebrate Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week with Us

Here is What's going on in the World of Crohn's and Colitis. Here is the December Issue of CCFA Newsletter. Letter from Rick Geswell, CCFA President & CEO Rick Geswell, CCFA President and CEO Not only is it #GivingTuesday, a worldwide day designated for supporting causes that are important to you, but it's also Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week! We are committed to raising awareness among all Americans about IBD – and encouraging them to join the effort to find treatments and cures. Learn more about what you can do to help. That's not all! We have some great news – for a limited time, every gift made to CCFA will go twice as far towards treatments and cures. Until December 31, every donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $200,000. Don't miss this chance to double your support for a future free from IBD – make a tax-deductible gift today. Brian's Story: Escaping the Stall Brooke At 33, Brian Kalina was in the midst of just about every major life event you can imagine – a new house, a new job, and a baby on the way – when he began having terrible stomach pain. What he thought were the effects of stress was actually severe ulcerative colitis. As a Vice President and Associate Creative Director at a leading ad agency, Brian was inspired to put his creative brainpower to spreading the word about IBD... and the results were amazing! read more What are you doing for Awareness Week? awareness week From December 1-7, join us in celebrating Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week! The best way to take part in awareness week activities is to spread the word about IBD. The more people who know about these debilitating diseases, the more power we have in the fight for treatments and cures! Getting involved is easy – here's what you can do: • Write to your House Representatives and encourage them to join the Crohn's & Colitis Caucus • Reach out to anyone you know with IBD and let them know they have your support • Start your very own fundraising page and let all your friends and family know you're raising money to support IBD research! read more Start Making a Difference Amanda and her husband watched helplessly as their free-spirited 5-year-old son Ian struggled with IBD. Fortunately, thanks to his committed doctors, Ian is on a treatment plan that’s helping. He still struggles sometimes, but for the most part, he’s back to being himself! Amanda has made it her mission to spread the word about IBD and help fund research for treatments and cures. Want to help? Start your own fundraising page today and ask friends and family to support your cause! read more PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Creative Brain Helping Other Patients 'Escape the Stall'

Strategist and Patient Gives Insight into Award-Winning Campaign At age 33, Brian Kalina was in the midst of just about every major life event you can imagine-a new house, a new job, and a baby on the way-when he began having reoccurring IBD pains. What he thought were the effects of stress was actually severe ulcerative colitis. “I was actually diagnosed the day before my son was born,” said Kalina. “So I remember the day exactly.” Before then, Kalina had been experiencing significant pain for some time, and he immediately knew something was wrong. It wasn’t long before his doctor confirmed his colitis diagnosis in August 2007. “There was a tiny bit of relief because I knew what was going on. Then I was told I would have this forever, and I was pretty upset,” he said. “I discovered pretty early that a better way of dealing with it was to be open and honest.” With that spirit, it was only natural for Kalina, VP and ACD /copywriter at leading ad agency Draftfcb, to volunteer his talents to help create CCFA’s “Escape the Stall” PSA campaign. “It’s not often that we get to do a lot of public service. So when those projects come across our desks, everyone gets excited. It was very exciting for me to talk about it.” As a copywriter and strategist of the campaign, he utilized his personal experience with IBD to help conceptualize a campaign he said will not only help patients, but their caregivers and families as well. “What I loved about this project is that it was about awareness, but more why it is important to make people aware. It was also meant to help other people look out for the signs of the diseases. The point is to help the person suffering alone in the stall. It was more so saying, ‘Here is the problem; let’s solve this together.’ It was great to share my experience." Kalina makes it clear that it was the entire team of strategists and creatives, volunteering their time pro-bono, who really brought his ideas to life, and he is enthusiastic about the next phase of the campaign. “I can see it going a lot of different directions. The first step we had to identify your loved one that has been diagnosed and now the second step is getting them the tools they need. It’s not enough to just to make people aware. It is important to let people know the signs and how you can deal with it.” Someone you know may be suffering from IBD. You can help them when you visit: .

Monday, December 2, 2013


For the first time in history Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving so on this day I decided to take this time and shed some light on the Jewish Holiday.Here is the history of Hanukkah.This will not occur again in are lifetime for another Seventy-Thousand years where Hanukkah will fall on Thanksgiving. The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means "dedication" in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts. The events that inspired the Hanukkah holiday took place during a particularly turbulent phase of Jewish history. Around 200 B.C., Judea—also known as the Land of Israel—came under the control of Antiochus III, the Seleucid king of Syria, who allowed the Jews who lived there to continue practicing their religion. His son, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, proved less benevolent: Ancient sources recount that he outlawed the Jewish religion and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. In 168 B.C., his soldiers descended upon Jerusalem, massacring thousands of people and desecrating the city’s holy Second Temple by erecting an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs within its sacred walls. Led by the Jewish priest Mattathias and his five sons, a large-scale rebellion broke out against Antiochus and the Seleucid monarchy. When Matthathias died in 166 B.C., his son Judah, known as Judah Maccabee (“the Hammer”), took the helm; within two years the Jews had successfully driven the Syrians out of Jerusalem, relying largely on guerilla warfare tactics. Judah called on his followers to cleanse the Second Temple, rebuild its altar and light its menorah—the gold candelabrum whose seven branches represented knowledge and creation and were meant to be kept burning every night. Here are some of the Hanukkah Traditions The Hanukkah celebration revolves around the kindling of a nine-branched menorah, known in Hebrew as the hanukiah. On each of the holiday’s eight nights, another candle is added to the menorah after sundown; the ninth candle, called the shamash (“helper”), is used to light the others. Jews typically recite blessings during this ritual and display the menorah prominently in a window as a reminder to others of the miracle that inspired the holiday. In another allusion to the Hanukkah miracle, traditional Hanukkah foods are fried in oil. Potato pancakes (known as latkes) and jam-filled donuts (sufganiyot) are particularly popular in many Jewish households. Other Hanukkah customs include playing with four-sided spinning tops called dreidels and exchanging gifts. In recent decades, particularly in North America, Hanukkah has exploded into a major commercial phenomenon, largely because it falls near or overlaps with Christmas. From a religious perspective, however, it remains a relatively minor holiday that places no restrictions on working, attending school or other activities. Just want to wish every one a HAPPY HANUKKAH!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I just wanted to take this moment to say Happy Thanksgiving to ALL that are sharing it with family and friends. I am constantly reminded of just how GREAT this celebration is. Today I have been reflecting on just the word Thanksgiving and the one thing that I am grateful for his my LIFE, I THANK GOD for my LIFE that's ALL I could think about today. So today as millions gather around to celebrate this day of Thanksgiving always remember to to be Thankful and Grateful for the life that you have because there are so many that don't have the opportunity to celebrate there life or Thanksgiving. So from my Family to Yours HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 years after his assassination: The nation Remembers Jonh F. Kennedy

50 years ago today the nation lost there 35th President On November 22, 1963, when he was hardly past his first thousand days in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by an assassin's bullets as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President; he was the youngest to die. Of Irish descent, he was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. Graduating from Harvard in 1940, he entered the Navy. In 1943, when his PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy, despite grave injuries, led the survivors through perilous waters to safety. Back from the war, he became a Democratic Congressman from the Boston area, advancing in 1953 to the Senate. He married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12, 1953. In 1955, while recuperating from a back operation, he wrote Profiles in Courage, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history. In 1956 Kennedy almost gained the Democratic nomination for Vice President, and four years later was a first-ballot nominee for President. Millions watched his television debates with the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon. Winning by a narrow margin in the popular vote, Kennedy became the first Roman Catholic President. His Inaugural Address offered the memorable injunction: "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." As President, he set out to redeem his campaign pledge to get America moving again. His economic programs launched the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II; before his death, he laid plans for a massive assault on persisting pockets of privation and poverty. Responding to ever more urgent demands, he took vigorous action in the cause of equal rights, calling for new civil rights legislation. His vision of America extended to the quality of the national culture and the central role of the arts in a vital society. He wished America to resume its old mission as the first nation dedicated to the revolution of human rights. With the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps, he brought American idealism to the aid of developing nations. But the hard reality of the Communist challenge remained. Shortly after his inauguration, Kennedy permitted a band of Cuban exiles, already armed and trained, to invade their homeland. The attempt to overthrow the regime of Fidel Castro was a failure. Soon thereafter, the Soviet Union renewed its campaign against West Berlin. Kennedy replied by reinforcing the Berlin garrison and increasing the Nation's military strength, including new efforts in outer space. Confronted by this reaction, Moscow, after the erection of the Berlin Wall, relaxed its pressure in central Europe. Instead, the Russians now sought to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. When this was discovered by air reconnaissance in October 1962, Kennedy imposed a quarantine on all offensive weapons bound for Cuba. While the world trembled on the brink of nuclear war, the Russians backed down and agreed to take the missiles away. The American response to the Cuban crisis evidently persuaded Moscow of the futility of nuclear blackmail. Kennedy now contended that both sides had a vital interest in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and slowing the arms race--a contention which led to the test ban treaty of 1963. The months after the Cuban crisis showed significant progress toward his goal of "a world of law and free choice, banishing the world of war and coercion." His administration thus saw the beginning of new hope for both the equal rights of Americans and the peace of the world. Please visit this website: Here is footage of John F. Kennedy Final Hours.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hollywood Producer Turned IBD Advocate

Brooke Abbott was like most college graduates: young, eager, and ambitious. After several internships for major networks like HBO, the 24-year-old had finally landed her first production management position for a television show. But one day while working on set, she collapsed. What she didn’t know was that she had been experiencing symptoms of IBD, and for quite some time--dizziness, stomach pains, and tiredness. In January 2008, her doctor confirmed her colitis diagnosis. “I heard of Crohn’s and I had heard of IBS but I didn’t know anything about ulcerative colitis. So when I first got the diagnosis, I freaked out. I had just started the TV show, and my career was finally starting to pick up speed. So I was scared." From that moment, Brooke immersed herself in information about her disease. It wasn’t long before she had her colitis under control, and she was back working for shows like ABC's hit series "Desperate Housewives." Brooke soon found out she was pregnant with her son Jax. Life took another unexpected turn for Brooke in 2012. After nearly losing her life from IBD-related complications, her colon was removed and she was given a J-pouch. “I was a single mom. I had no career, no insurance, and I was extremely sick,” said Brooke. “My whole life was turned upside down. I felt out of control. I felt like (IBD) was going to stall or completely end my career.” But Brooke was wrong. Now 30, Brooke has created a new, fulfilling professional path with the help of her popular blog The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles, which follows her and her son’s life as she manages being a working mom with IBD for nutrition company Happy Family Superfoods. She is also the co-founder and director of her own afterschool program for young people. Brooke is optimistic about one day returning to a Hollywood set full-time, but for now she has happily found a new voice and passion working from home, building her outreach, and helping others--especially other moms--with IBD. “I had to completely change my life. Now my focus is my family. My objective is helping others through my blog. IBD has completely changed the direction of my career and I had to come to terms with that, but for me, it has been a blessing in disguise.” To learn more about Brooke's IBD journey, visit her blog The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles. Brooke Abbott was like most college graduates: young, eager, and ambitious. After several internships for major networks like HBO, the 24-year-old had finally landed her first production management position for a television show. But one day while working on set, she collapsed. What she didn’t know was that she had been experiencing symptoms of IBD, and for quite some time--dizziness, stomach pains, and tiredness. In January 2008, her doctor confirmed her colitis diagnosis. “I heard of Crohn’s and I had heard of IBS but I didn’t know anything about ulcerative colitis. So when I first got the diagnosis, I freaked out. I had just started the TV show, and my career was finally starting to pick up speed. So I was scared." From that moment, Brooke immersed herself in information about her disease. It wasn’t long before she had her colitis under control, and she was back working for shows like ABC's hit series "Desperate Housewives." Brooke soon found out she was pregnant with her son Jax. Life took another unexpected turn for Brooke in 2012. After nearly losing her life from IBD-related complications, her colon was removed and she was given a J-pouch. “I was a single mom. I had no career, no insurance, and I was extremely sick,” said Brooke. “My whole life was turned upside down. I felt out of control. I felt like (IBD) was going to stall or completely end my career.” But Brooke was wrong. Now 30, Brooke has created a new, fulfilling professional path with the help of her popular blog The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles, which follows her and her son’s life as she manages being a working mom with IBD for nutrition company Happy Family Superfoods. She is also the co-founder and director of her own afterschool program for young people. Brooke is optimistic about one day returning to a Hollywood set full-time, but for now she has happily found a new voice and passion working from home, building her outreach, and helping others--especially other moms--with IBD. “I had to completely change my life. Now my focus is my family. My objective is helping others through my blog. IBD has completely changed the direction of my career and I had to come to terms with that, but for me, it has been a blessing in disguise.” To learn more about Brooke's IBD journey, visit her blog The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Brooke's Story: From Hollywood to IBD Advocacy

In the November 2013 CCFA Newsletter Here is what's going on Letter from Rick Geswell, CCFA President & CEO Rick Geswell, CCFA President and CEO Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away! At CCFA, we're thankful for a lot this year. We appreciate our partners such as Bridgestone Americas for their tremendous support of our walk program and for their in-store "round-up" initiative that took place this past summer. We're also thankful to have a partner in K'NEX – makers of the much-loved construction sets for kids. Through November 30, K'NEX will donate 10% of all online sales to CCFA to support programs. Finally, I want to thank you for your support. Our groundbreaking research and life-changing programs and services wouldn't be possible without you. Enjoy the start of this wonderful holiday season! Brooke's Story: From Hollywood to IBD Advocacy Brooke Brooke was like most college graduates: young, eager, and ambitious. After several internships for major networks like HBO, 24-year-old Brooke finally landed her first production management position for a TV show. But one day she collapsed on set. What she didn't know was that she had been experiencing symptoms of IBD – dizziness, stomach pains, and tiredness – for quite some time. Soon, she was diagnosed with colitis. This was only the beginning of Brooke's struggle with IBD – but it's also the beginning of an incredible story of transformation and resolve. Read Brooke's story. read more Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week is coming up! From December 1-7, help us spread the word about IBD. You can set up your own fundraising page and start working with friends and family to raise money for treatments and cures, or you can see and contribute to the other people's campaigns! Check out Amanda Manfred's page – she's raising money on behalf of her five year old son, Ian. read more Newly Diagnosed? Check out this Webcast! Our webcast for newly diagnosed patients is available now on-demand! The path to an IBD diagnosis can be long and challenging. Once diagnosed, people often have difficulty coming to terms with managing the symptoms and treatments of a chronic disease. That's why we're excited to offer Diagnosed with IBD: What to Expect, a two-part webcast that will help patients and loved ones learn more about IBD and how to access helpful resources. Take a look! read more Lotsa Helping Hands: A Great Resource for Caregivers You may already know that November is National Family Caregivers Month. Our Lotsa Helping Hands community offers services and support to caregivers of those with IBD. Last year, we launched The Year of Helping Hands to encourage people to recognize and celebrate the importance of caregivers. This year, we have a special toolkit to welcome caregivers to our supportive community. Join Lotsa Helping Hands or share with a caregiver you know today!

Monday, November 11, 2013


Today we Honor our Men and Women who have served this Country to protect our Freedoms. So today I'm honoring my Family and friends that are close to me that have Served and protect the many Millions of others.To the many Millions that have Served you our are HERO'S. May God Bless ALL the Men and Women that have Served and Thank You for your Service.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hayden's story:4 years old living with UC

In the October 2013 Issue of CCFA'S Newsletter this was talk about. Letter from Rick Geswell, CCFA President & CEO Rick Geswell, CCFA President and CEO We have a lot going on at CCFA these days! I recently attended a conference in England focused on establishing standards for the care for IBD patients. A unified set of standards for quality care of people with IBD does not currently exist anywhere – and this has to change. The first step in developing these long overdue standards is bringing together people, organizations, institutions and governments to establish a protocol. In this country, CCFA has long played the role of convener and facilitator of knowledge on information aimed at cures and the quality of patient lives. In 2014, we will host the first U.S. IBD 2020 Standards of Care Meeting to continue this collaborative process of creating a comprehensive, well-executed and effective program. Time is critical. Too many patients go undiagnosed or lack the right treatments for their disease. IBD patients deserve quality care wherever they are seen. The time is now to improve our systems and the outcomes that true quality care can produce. CCFA Advocacy Priorities Rick Geswell & Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. On October 3, I met with Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., in Washington, D.C. to discuss CCFA advocacy priorities. The newly appointed congressman from New Jersey's 10th district listened with interest as I outlined CCFA's goals for raising awareness about IBD, improving access to care and conducting groundbreaking research. If you are interested in learning more about our advocacy priorities, please visit our website. Ask your legislator to support issues important to IBD patients. Reach out to your representative today! Hayden's Story: An Honored Hero Takes Steps Hayden Hayden is your typical healthy, active 4 year-old-boy – he loves sports, playing with friends, and riding his scooter. When he was diagnosed with IBD, his normal life seemed to come to an abrupt halt – now full of hospital trips and doctor visits. But Hayden is a fighter. Despite the setbacks that come with a diagnosis of IBD, Hayden hasn't let it stop him doing the things he loves. He continues to play lacrosse and basketball... and try out daring skateboard maneuvers! Read Hayden's full story, as told by his mother Heather. read more Healthcare Reform Want to know how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act can help you? Following the passage of this law, the government has created a "Health Insurance Marketplace" to help people learn about their insurance options, find an appropriate plan and submit an application. Open enrollment began on October 1, 2013 and lasts through March 31, 2014. For more information about the Marketplace or to apply for coverage, visit read more UC Success Video Contest UC Success Living with ulcerative colitis can feel like every day presents a new challenge to overcome. But the good news is... there are many people with UC who have found ways to succeed, despite the difficulties of their disease. The UC Success Video Contest is a great opportunity to share with others how you've learned to overcome the challenges of UC. Now's your chance to celebrate your accomplishments and inspire others to reach for success too! Learn more about the contest and how to enter. read more Team Challenge Race in Miami in February Team Challenge is taking on Miami! On February 2, 2014, 25,000 runners and walkers will convene in sunny Miami for the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon... and you can be one of them! Take a break from winter weather and join Team Challenge in South Florida, where you'll run on a breathtaking tropical course. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to challenge yourself and support treatments and cures for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. To register with the team, visit

Monday, October 28, 2013

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As October is coming to a close I just wanted to take this time to Honor those that have been affected by Breast Cancer. As Millions may now that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I wanted to Honor those that I know personally that have been affected with this Condition, Weather you are a Mother, Daughter, Friend, Family Member, Sister, Aunt, Cousin these facts from the American Cancer Society is GREAT NEWS to hear. In 2013, an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed among US women, as well as an estimated 64,640 additional cases of in situ breast cancer. That year, approximately 39,620 US women were expected to die from breast cancer. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women. Breast cancer incidence rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women, followed by African American women and are lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander women. In contrast, breast cancer death rates are highest for African American women, followed by white women. Breast cancer death rates are lowest for Asian/Pacific Islander women. Breast cancer incidence and death rates also vary by state. Cancer statistics such as these are presented in this updated edition of the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Facts and Figures. This publication provides updated cancer research facts about breast cancer, including incidence, mortality, and survival trends for breast cancer, as well as information on early detection, treatment, and factors that influence risk and survival.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cuba le debe una fiesta a Celia Cruz/Google Doodle Goes Live Globally Honoring Celia Cruz’s 88th Birthday

Justo cuando terminan las festividades por el Día de la Cultura Cubana, una de las grandes de esta Isla estaría cumpliendo sus 88 años de vida. Hoy recibe uno de los homenajes más extendidos en lo que en materia de tecnología actual se permite: un doodle del rey universal de los buscadores en Internet, Google. En Cuba su nombre es historia, cultura silenciada en muchos diccionarios. Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso de la Santísima Trinidad vio la luz un día como hoy en 1925. Un nombre imposible de pronunciar, pero que la cultura acuñó con un simple Celia Cruz. Sencillamente Celia para tres generaciones de cultores de la música cubana. Una cantante tan grande como su éxito, tan fresca como su música y tan tropical como su Isla. Un año después del triunfo de la revolución cubana y durante una gira de la orquesta Sonora Matancera, Celia “se quedó” en los Estados Unidos para convertirse en la voz del exilio cubano. Pero la Cruz fue más que eso. Dedicó toda su carrera a transformar la salsa junto a Tito Puente y las Fania All Star haciendo que su música viajara todo el mundo hasta convertirse en la Reina de la Salsa. Con su voz acampanada cultivó a todos los de por acá y por allá. La negra tuvo su tumbao a ritmo de guaracha y son montuno. Reconoció que esta vida es un carnaval y la vivió plenamente, siempre con la esperanza de volver, como ella misma dijera: “a su Cuba libre”. A pesar de los imposibles, la sonrisa nunca se borró de su rostro. Con su voz inconfundible, extrovertida, carismática y extravagante en el escenario, Celia fue mezcla de sonidos afrocubanos y jazz. Fue para el mundo la cara de una isla donde su música estaba prohibida, pero que se escuchaba con el volumen no muy alto en más de una casa. Su muy rítmico ¡Azúcar! acompañó a la Cruz como “grito de guerra” durante toda su carrera, en la que acumuló un total de cinco Grammys, dejó como huella una estrella en el paseo de la fama, recibió en tres universidades el premio Honoris Causa y el habitante de la Casa Blanca en 1994, Bill Clinton, le entregó el Premio Nacional de las Artes. En 2003 el cáncer terminó la carrera de la artista, pero no se detuvieron los premios póstumos y eventos en recuerdo de la que fue la cubana más querida y estimada por los “exiliados políticos”. A Celia la enterraron hace diez años con un puñado de tierra de su país que recogió por debajo de una cerca desde la Base naval en Guantánamo. Logró en vida casi todo lo que se propuso; sólo una cosa le faltó hacer: a Cuba nunca pudo volver desde su salida en 1960. Hoy Celia Cruz cumpliría años en esta tierra, pero la vida quiso que se fuera antes. Google hace homenaje póstumo a la diva en su 88 aniversario. Hoy es día de fiesta porque ella así lo hubiese querido. Día de salsa y de ¡azúcar! Día de unir sueños y olvidar rencores. Hoy es el día de Celia Cruz. Cuba le debe la fiesta. MIAMI (October 21, 2013) — Eventus, the leading multi-cultural experiential, sports and entertainment marketing company in the United States, and the Celia Cruz Estate, proudly honor the Queen of Salsa’s birthday today with a custom-designed Google Doodle celebrating her life and legacy. Google, Inc., the multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products, chose the music icon, who died in 2003, to grace their search engine’s home page today, on what would have been her 88th birthday. “Ten years after her passing, it is incredible how ‘alive’ she still is. Her voice and image are present everywhere and her impact on culture worldwide is immeasurable”, said Nelson Albareda, CEO of Eventus. “Celia continues to bring joy and enrich the lives of so many globally. We are grateful to Google for our collaboration in assuring that her legacy continues to reach new fans around the world.” Cuban-born Celia Cruz was internationally recognized as the “Queen of Salsa” and during her lifetime received countless awards and honors including three GRAMMY® Awards, four Latin GRAMMY®s, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Smithsonian Institution, among other accolades. In 1994, US President Bill Clinton awarded her the highest honor the country bestows upon an artist: the National Endowment for the Arts. Celia recorded over 78 albums, many of which obtained platinum status and have been distributed worldwide. The Smithsonian Museum hosted an exhibit called Azúcar: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz, and in 2011, the United States Postal Service honored her invaluable contributions to the entertainment industry and international impact by placing her image on a US postage stamp as part of the Latin Music Legends Series. “There have been many posthumous tributes to Celia in these last ten years, but this one by Google is certainly one of the most important and far-reaching. The creation of her very own Google Doodle, an honor bestowed on a select few who have made special contributions to mankind, is a testament of her significance, not just musically, but culturally,” said Omer Pardillo-Cid, sole executor of the Celia Cruz Estate. “She would have loved it!” The Celia Cruz Estate and Eventus, the sole representative of the Celia Cruz Estate, continue to jointly develop a comprehensive global strategy to keep her legacy alive and to reach new generations with her timeless music.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Story: An Honored Hero Takes Steps

Here is a Story about a little 4year old boy by the Name of Hayden. Hayden was your typical healthy, active 4 year-old-boy - he loved sports, playing with friends, and riding his scooter. In the summer of 2008, Hayden started having frequent bowel movements and loose stool. After a few weeks and multiple negative parasite tests, he could not make it more than 20 minutes without having to use the bathroom. We tried to go to the beach one Saturday afternoon and could not make it out of the neighborhood. That afternoon Hayden was admitted to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). A few days later, after many IVs, endoscopies and colonoscopies, Hayden was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Our world was changed forever. We started with typical treatments but unlike a sinus infection and other illnesses we had encountered, nothing seemed to work. The despair as a parent of a sick child and not being able to cure it is indescribable. You feel your sole purpose in life is to protect your child, yet you are not able to. We finally hit rock bottom over the holiday season of 2011 when his diagnosis was changed to Crohn’s disease. Hayden was having a flare up and nothing was working. He was admitted to the hospital again over the holiday break. There is nothing more depressing than being hospitalized for Christmas. The emotional toll of watching your son wither away in front of you, fearing it was the last time you would hug him was almost too much. However Hayden is strong, possibly stronger than both of us. He continued to fight and he never lost his will. He pulled through and has been responding better to the recent combination of medicines. Still weighing in the 20th percentile and measuring in the 15th percentile in his age group, this hero continues to play lacrosse and basketball, in between trying daring skateboard maneuvers. He wakes up every day with a smile, eager to see what life brings. (As told by his mother Heather) Last year, Heather and her family's Take Steps team, dubbed team Haydee Hoo, placed second, raising more than $10,000 in just their first of participation. This is the family’s second year participating in the Mercer County Take Steps Walk for Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter. You can help children like Hayden overcome IBD when you join us at one of our many Take Steps Walks this season.

Monday, September 30, 2013

We did It- Thanks to you!

In the September issue of CCFA newsletter this is What is going on. Letter from Rick Geswell, CCFA President & CEO Rick Geswell, CCFA President and CEO I have some great news. We challenged you to double your impact in our matching gift campaign, and you rose to the occasion. Together, we reached our goal of raising $50,000, and it was matched! That's $100,000 to fund the groundbreaking research that will enable us to better treat IBD. Thank you! As you may have already discovered, the 2012 Annual Report is now available online. I encourage you to take a look – this comprehensive report is reader-friendly, organized for easy navigation and full of valuable information about CCFA. I'm proud of the incredible work we do together and so grateful for supporters like you who help make it happen. Newly Diagnosed? We can help. Newly Diagnosed IBD patient Getting diagnosed with a lifelong disease like Crohn's or colitis can be a lot to take in, but we're here to help. Our Patient Starter Kit is filled with information for you and your loved ones about IBD symptoms, treatment options, how best to manage your illness and details about support groups, online resources and a wide array of programs. The more you know about IBD, the more you and your family can be prepared to fight it. Let's get started. read more Remembering Lloyd Mayer, MD Lloyd Mayer, MD We are sad to share that Dr. Lloyd Mayer, a renowned researcher and CCFA leader, passed away earlier this month. This is a significant loss for us here at CCFA but also for the IBD community at large. Dr. Mayer brought his vision, dedication, leadership and brilliant mind to CCFA for almost 30 years, holding several key positions and contributing to some of our most significant achievements. His legacy includes research that profoundly shaped the development of highly effective anti-inflammatory drugs for IBD. Read more about what this dedicated teacher, mentor and colleague brought to the fight against IBD. SEPTEMBER 2013 ISSUE college students HEALTHY LIVING TIP School is back in full swing and CCFA is ready with all the resources college students need to successfully transition back to campus. Visit CCFA Campus Connection today! IS YOUR GI A MEMBER OF CCFA? Make sure your GI is getting the support and resources he or she needs to be the doctor you need. CCFA professional members are equipped with the most up-to-date tools and information so they can better serve their patients. Ask your doctor today! Take Steps group YOU ASKED, HE ANSWERED! Watch Dr. Leo Galland, an internationally recognized leader in integrated medicine, answer the questions you asked on Facebook about managing IBD. Watch the video here. IBD Clinical Trials & Other Studies CCFA provides a comprehensive database of IBD medical studies and clinical trials. Some of the recently added studies include: • A study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of PF-00547659 in subjects with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis being conducted by Pfizer. • A study to determine the safety and efficacy of intravenous infusion of human placenta-derived cells (PDA-001) for the treatment of Crohn's disease being conducted by Celgene. • A study to investigate the safety and efficacy of CP-690,550 for induction therapy in subjects with moderate to severe Crohn's disease being conducted by Pfizer. Deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision, best made with a full understanding of the drug development process and a participant's role. doctors Learn More

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering September 11th

On this day 12 years ago the World came to a Stop when we saw an Airplane hit the Twin Towers in New York, The Pentagon and in a Field in Somerset Pennsylvania. I can't believe it's been 12years, I had just Graduate from High School about 4 month before this tragedy struck the United State Of America. So on this day I am constantly reminded just how Life is so precious to us. I am Reflecting and Remembering those we have lost on this Day 12 years ago. To ALL those that have been affected by this tragedy just know this We have NOT FORGOTTEN ALL the Families, Service Men and Women we have LOST. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Remembering Renowned Researcher and CCFA Leader Lloyd Mayer, MD

It is with great sadness that the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) announces the passing of immediate past Chairman of their National Scientific Advisory Committee (NSAC) Lloyd Mayer, MD. Dr. Mayer was also Professor and Co-Director of the Immunology Institute, the Dorothy and David Merksamer Professor of Medicine, and Professor of Microbiology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. “Lloyd was a visionary leader and a brilliant researcher who was involved with CCFA for almost 30 years,” said Richard Geswell, President & CEO of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “He was fundamental in helping us set our research agenda. His passion, leadership, scientific expertise, and commitment to improving the lives of patients, will be his legacy here at CCFA.” Dr. Mayer’s research focused on mucosal immunoregulation, inflammatory bowel disease and cytokine regulation of human B-cell differentiation with special attention on the role of intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) in regulatory T-cell responses in the gut. He and his team were the first to show that the epithelial lining cells of the intestine are active regulators of mucosal immune responses that are distinct from those that regulate systemic immunity. These findings had a profound significance in the development of highly effective anti-inflammatory drugs for IBD. Dr. Mayer had been a part of CCFA’s research programs since the mid 1980s and he held several key leadership positions including Chair of the Research Training Awards Committee, Chair of the Grants Review Committee, a member of the Research Initiative Committee and most recently Chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee. As Chair, Dr. Mayer revived CCFA’s Clinical Research Alliance, was a force in the Microbiome initiative and laid the foundation for the CCFA Partners in Research Program ( which is a groundbreaking, online research database. “Lloyd always said that he grew up scientifically with CCFA and he was particularly committed to sharing his expertise by training the next generation of young IBD investigators,” said Marjorie Merrick, Vice President of Research & Scientific Programs. “He was a dedicated and awe-inspiring teacher, mentor and colleague to IBD researchers worldwide and a staunch friend to all he knew. He will be sorely missed.” Dr. Mayer graduated from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 1976 and received the Mosby Award for Clinical Excellence at that time. From 1980 through 1984, Dr. Mayer held joint appointments at Rockefeller University and Mount Sinai. He pursued his immunology interests in the laboratory of the late Dr. Henry Kunkel. In 1985, he became Associate Professor of Medicine and Microbiology at Mount Sinai. In 1986, he became the Director of the Division of Clinical Immunology. Shortly after achieving full Professorships in Medicine and Microbiology in 1990, Dr. Mayer became Vice Chair of Medicine at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. He also received the Jeffrey Modell Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1994, Dr. Mayer was named the David and Dorothy Merksamer Chair of Medicine and in 1997 became Professor of Immunobiology and Chair of the Immunobiology Center at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. In 2007, he became Professor and Co-Director of the Immunology Institute. He was also the Director of the Division of Gastroenterology (2003-2010). Dr. Mayer received many awards for a life time of outstanding work including the Saul Horowitz Award and the Irma T. Hirschl Trust Career Development Award, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute Award for Scientific Excellence, and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Scientific Achievement Award in Basic IBD Research. He spoke and published widely, and his research was consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health. He also leaves behind multiple generations of physicians who trained with and were mentored by him. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Staff and volunteers extend our deepest sympathy to the Mayer family. He is survived by his wife Dr. Jill Fishbane-Mayer and three children, Sara, Marisa and Josh.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Kids & Teens: Our New Partners for Cures

Here is the August Newsletter from CCFA. Have you ever wished you could do something more to find treatments and cures for IBD? I know sometimes I feel like there's only so much one person can do. But I have some good news! For a limited time, you can do something more. Thanks to a generous donor, every gift we receive through September 15th will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $50,000. That means your gift will automatically double! So you'll be doing twice as much in the fight to find cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Working together, we have the power to create a future free from IBD. I hope you'll take advantage of this wonderful opportunity with a special donation to CCFA today. Personal Story: Marc Gillman Marc Gillman and family For Marc Gillman, what started as a dare turned into a life-changing opportunity to help people suffering with IBD. This week, Marc and his brother-in-law Brian, who has Crohn's disease, will take a 17-plus-hour flight from Newark, NJ to Nairobi, Africa. There, they will climb Mount Kilimanjaro – the world's highest free-standing mountain. And they're doing it for IBD treatments and cures! So how does one prepare to climb for the tallest mountain in the world? Read on to find out how Marc and Brian are training and what inspired them to do this incredible feat for the millions of Americans living with IBD. read more Join our Pain Management Webcast on September 17 Pain in IBD webcast One of the most common symptoms among people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is pain, but there is limited research on pain therapy in this population. Pain in IBD: Causes & Treatment Options will provide patients and loved ones with information on the causes of pain in IBD and the various therapies that may provide relief. Presented by pain and IBD expert Eva Szigethy, MD, PhD, the webcast will also discuss the overlap between IBD and IBS, and how research on IBS may inform treatment of pain in IBD. Space is limited – register today! Kids & Teens: Our New Partners for Cures CCFA Partners Kids & Teens is a groundbreaking new research initiative designed to improve the quality of life for children with IBD. Following the success of CCFA Partners – which has more than 12,000 adults with IBD enrolled – we're now expanding our study to include the pediatric population. Children of all ages are invited to join this long-term research project focusing on the aspects of IBD that are most important to patients and their parents, including health behaviors, disease symptoms and quality of life. Learn more about the free, comprehensive internet-based study and enroll your child today! AUGUST 2013 ISSUE college student ATTENTION COLLEGE STUDENTS Are you an exceptional and highly-motivated student leader in your freshman or sophomore of college? New member applications for CCFA's National Council of College Leaders are available now! DOUBLE DOWN ON DONATIONS FOR IBD CURES Until September 15th, your generous donation to help fund crucial research and one-of-a-kind programs for IBD patients will be matched, dollar for dollar. Double your impact today! Take Steps group FALL WALK SEASON If you have never experienced a Take Steps Walk before, they provide a unique sense of community, solidarity and celebration. If you walked with us this spring, thank you for your participation! If you weren't able to join us, there is still time to join a fall walk near you. IBD Clinical Trials & Other Studies CCFA provides a comprehensive database of IBD medical studies and clinical trials. Some of the recently added studies include: • MEthotrexate Response in Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis study being conducted by CCFA Clinical Alliance Members. • Assessing Chronically Ill Youth's Access to Education online study being conducted by Stanford University Deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision, best made with a full understanding of the drug development process and a participant's role.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


On July 24,1969 Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born in The Bronx, New York this Actress, entertainer, music artist, film & TV producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur and humanitarian, Jennifer Lopez is one of the most powerful and celebrated celebrities in entertainment. Today I am Celebrating a Woman who has been a True Inspiration in my Life. Since day 1 I have watch this woman blossom into a STRONG BORICUA WOMAN. She has taught me to ALWAYS stay TRUE to myself and NEVER COMPARAMIZE Who I am. Today I am Honored 2 Celebrate JENNIFER LYNN LOPEZ HAPPIE BIRTHDAY MAMA!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Discovering Better Treatments

Here is this month Newsletter of ALL the activities taking place at CCFA. Letter from Rick Geswell, CCFA President I know you care about discovering better treatments and cures for IBD – so I know you'll be excited to hear that we have a match! For a limited time, you can help us accomplish twice as much in the search for treatments and cures. Until September 15th, every gift you make to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will automatically double. Thanks to a generous donor, every gift will be matched – dollar for dollar – up to a total of $50,000. That means your gift will do twice as much work in the fight to find cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. I hope you'll take advantage of this rare opportunity with a special donation to CCFA today. Personal Story: Jake Marcus Jake Jake Marcus's father Stephen was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2010. Jake remembers, "I saw my dad struggling and going to the hospital, and that touched me. I felt like something had to be done." The 23-year-old laced up his running shoes and joined Team Challenge – and that was only the beginning! Two years and five Team Challenge races later, Jake has had an enormous impact on IBD research. Read more about Jake, his father, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars they've raised for IBD research. If Jake's story inspires you, please join us in the fall for a Team Challenge event! read more Join our Financial Management Webcast on July 23! webcast The cost of IBD care is significant, and many families struggle with expenses. Our upcoming webcast on Tuesday, July 23, from 3:00-4:00pm ET will provide patients and loved ones with tips for managing healthcare costs. We will discuss several programs that can help cover the cost of treatment for both uninsured and underinsured patients, and speakers will also discuss disability coverage in IBD. There are only a few spaces left – register now! Advances in IBD Does your health care provider attend our Advances in IBD Conference? It is the premier annual conference for healthcare professionals and researchers who study and manage patients with IBD. This December, clinicians, researchers, allied health professionals, nurses, and pediatric gastroenterologists will gather in Hollywood, Florida to hear about practice-changing IBD research from world-renowned experts. Tell your doctor about this "can't miss" event! JULY 2013 ISSUE Take Steps TAKE A STEP TODAY! Take Steps is CCFA's largest fundraising event – please join us for a fall walk! Together, we raise funds and awareness and celebrate the steps we've taken towards treatments and cures. Get involved with your local event! Register today and join thousands of others in the fight against IBD. 2X THE IMPACT You can make twice the difference for people living with IBD. Until September 15th, your gift to CCFA will be doubled by a generous donor to help fund cutting-edge IBD research. ROUND UP FOR TREATMENTS AND CURES Did you know Gary Garfield, President and CEO of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., was the 2013 Take Steps National Chair? This month and next, Bridgestone America's stores and their affiliates are supporting CCFA with a round-up program. Show your support by taking care of your car this summer! IBD Clinical Trials & Other Studies CCFA provides a comprehensive database of IBD medical studies and clinical trials. Some of the recently added studies include: • A brief communication of treatment risks survey being conducted by National Analysts Worldwide • A study of Trichuris suis ova (TSO) in ulcerative colitis being conducted by the New York University School of Medicine • A study of oral CP-690,550 as an induction therapy in ulcerative colitis being conducted by Pfizer Deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision, best made with a full understanding of the drug development process and a participant's role. Learn More

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Race for Dad

Here is a story from our CCFA Team Challenger Family Jake Marcus who shares his story about his Dad being diagnose with Crohn's. In 2010, when Jake Marcus’ father, Stephen Marcus, was diagnosed with Crohn’s, Jake decided the best thing to do was lace up his running shoes. “I saw my dad struggling and going to the hospital, and that touched me. I felt like something had to be done,” says Jake, a 23-year-old Boston-native and avid runner. A year later, he donned the orange singlet as a Team Challenge racer dedicated to finding cures for inflammatory bowel diseases- but he would have no way of knowing his effort to help his father would turn into so much more. “I have met more and more people that are affected by (these diseases), and that’s a great motivator for me,” says Jake, who also helped create Team Intestinal Fortitude, an organization comprised of a group of more than 20 family members and friends committed to raising money for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis research.Jake along with his family have raised more than $130,000 this year and raised more than $400,000 in total with the help of a series of successful events in their Massachusetts hometown and their heavy involvement in Team Challenge. “My favorite memory from Team Challenge is actually when we were announced as the top fundraiser in Napa our first year,” he adds. The five-time Team Challenge participatant says though racing in Vegas is his favorite Team Challenge event, each race is uniquely different every time he runs. This year he finished Team Challenge Virginia as one of the top runners of the race, even with an ankle injury. “My advice to anyone thinking of joining Team Challenge: Have fun with it. Races are an opportunity to celebrate and be together with other people, especially with Team Challenge, where everyone is racing for a great cause. Just stay calm and you'll make it to that finish line.” In the fall, Jake will follow in his father’s footsteps and attend law school at the University of Miami, but he insists that his busy schedule as a juris doctorate student won’t stop him from training for the next Team Challenge race. “Team Challenge is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It’s a lot of positive people for a great cause. It is such a gratifying challenge.” Online registration is now available for Team Challenge. If you are interested in learning more, find information meetings in your area here. Story brought to by our very own CCFA website. Here is the Link:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Celebrating FREEDOM

217 Years ago today Our Forefathers fought for Independence so that we can live freely. So I wanted to take this time to reflect on the history of United States of America. Here is the Story. On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on July 4th, also known as Independence Day, Americans celebrate this historic event. Conflict between the colonies and England was already a year old when the colonies convened a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776. In a June 7 session in the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall), Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution with the famous words: "Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." Lee's words were the impetus for the drafting of a formal Declaration of Independence, although the resolution was not followed up on immediately. On June 11, consideration of the resolution was postponed by a vote of seven colonies to five, with New York abstaining. However, a Committee of Five was appointed to draft a statement presenting to the world the colonies' case for independence. Members of the Committee included John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingston of New York and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. The task of drafting the actual document fell on Jefferson. On July 1, 1776, the Continental Congress reconvened, and on the following day, the Lee Resolution for independence was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies, New York not voting. Discussions of Jefferson's Declaration of Independence resulted in some minor changes, but the spirit of the document was unchanged. The process of revision continued through all of July 3 and into the late afternoon of July 4, when the Declaration was officially adopted. Of the 13 colonies, nine voted in favor of the Declaration, two -- Pennsylvania and South Carolina -- voted No, Delaware was undecided and New York abstained. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence. It is said that John Hancock's signed his name "with a great flourish" so England's "King George can read that without spectacles!" Today, the original copy of the Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and July 4 has been designated a national holiday to commemorate the day the United States laid down its claim to be a free and independent nation.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hero at a Young Age: Jazz Little's Inspiring Story

Here is an Inspiring Story told in the words by Jennifer Little which is Jazz's Mother. Here is the Story. The day we bring our children into the world is the day we take on the most important job of our lives. At the age of three, Jazz was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s disease and his life was forever changed. No words can comfort you while your child suffers; you are never the same. When days about cartoons and building forts under the table are traded for medications, ER visits, tests, scans, blood draws, and too many scopes to count, you wonder how you can take another day. A little over a year since his diagnosis, Jazz is now five and we still have so much to learn. We are taking one day at a time. Through it all, Jazz is the strong one. He is always thinking of others and has been an inspiration for our community and our family. His strength amazes everyone he meets and when this disease takes him down, he never gives up. He instead powers through providing comfort to those around him. It is an eye-opening day when your child wipes away a tear on your face and tells you that everything will be okay. Jazz wants to be a part of finding cures for these diseases to help others fighting like him. So he has become heavily involved in Team Challenge. I encourage you to believe in the power of this community who bands together, fighting for so many who are living with these terrible diseases. Coming to terms with why our little boy has this illness has not been easy, but we believe that Jazz was given a purpose. We have chosen to focus on the positive and working on raising awareness. Our family motto: “Believe in cures. They are out there and together we will find them." Jazz is a part of finding cures for Crohn’s and colitis. You can get fit and change lives along with him when you sign up for Team Challenge. Story is taken from our Crohn's and Colitis Foundation website. Please visit our website at

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Inspiration in unexpected places

Here is the June News Letter from CCFA.
Letter from Rick Geswell, CCFA President Rick Geswell I am pleased to share two exciting updates this month. First, we received the highest rating in the most recently published issue of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide. The Alliance helps donors make informed giving decisions and promotes high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public. You can see our full profile here. Second, our IBD Day on the Hill was an overwhelming success! In addition to 18 teams making over 150 visits, the Crohn's & Colitis Caucus hosted a Congressional briefing highlighting specialty tier legislation which had more than 100 attendees. Our first virtual IBD Day on the Hill was also a success with more than 12,000 views on Faceboook and 700 patient stories shared. Inspiration in Unexpected Places Jazz Jazz was diagnosed with severe Crohn's disease at age three. His father Denis says that through the medications, hospital visits, tests and scans, Jazz remained positive, strong and determined. Over the next few years, Jazz has been a comfort and inspiration to everyone who knows him – especially his father's Team Challenge teammates in Las Vegas. Now six, Jazz is even more determined to help find cures for this disease. He believes that the cures are out there... and that together, we'll find it. Find out more about Team Challenge and how you can help make a difference through this amazing program. Read more of Jazz's inspiring story. read more Managing the Costs of Your IBD Care webcast Join our Financial Management Webcast on July 23! The cost of care in IBD is significant, and many families struggle with expenses. Our upcoming webcast on July 23, 3:00-4:00pm ET will provide patients and loved ones with tips for managing healthcare costs. We will discuss several programs that can help cover the cost of treatment for both uninsured and underinsured patients, and speakers will also discuss disability coverage in IBD. Space is limited – register today! read more Round Up for Treatments and Cures Not only was Gary Garfield, President and CEO of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., the 2013 Take Steps National Chair, but during the months of July and August, Bridgestone America's and their affiliated stores are supporting CCFA with a round-up program. Please show your support by taking care of your car this summer.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Honoring Father's

As Millions ALL over the World Celebrate and Honor their Father's. I just wanted to take this time to share a little something special for ALL the Men of God. Weather you had a Mentor, Big Brother, Spiritual Father, Friend or whomever you may have had to lift you up and give you words of Encouragement this Poem is just for you. Here it is a Father's Day Prayer. I am Thankful that my Dad is still alive and that I can Honor him on this Special Day. So this Poem is for ALL the Men out their.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Today a Icon and Legend turn 55years Old I am speaking of none other than Prince Rogers Nelson. On June 7, 1958 Prince Rogers Nelson was born at Mount Sinai hospital to John L. Nelson and Mattie Della Baker Shaw.Day I am on a PURPLE HIGH because I am Celebrate PRINCE ROGERS NELSON BIRTHDAY YAY! I wanted 2 take this time and say how I THANK GOD 4 him and is Music that has transcended so many Generation. I was introduce to Prince's music at the tender age of 3years old my First movie was Purple Rain and ever since that day this Queen has NEVER looked back. It's 2013 and I am STILL standing with others by my PURPLE KINGS SIDE NO matter what People or Critics have said about him. I LOVE PRINCE ROGERS NELSON 4 being himself and NOT changing 4 NO 1. There is NOTHING N this WORLD that I would change about PRINCE I LOVE PRINCE 4 being PRINCE. So 2 day I am taking this time 2 Honor my PURPLE KING and his music. So PURPLE PEEPZ ALL over the World join me N celebrating his Legacy and Music. Queen Bee

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hiking For Crohn's One-Mans-Cross-Country

Check this story OUT! About a Hiker by the name Peter who is Hiking for Crohn's. Here is HIS STORY My name is Peter and everyday I live with Crohn’s disease. Since the age of 8, I’ve lived with intense stomach pain. It all started at a young age when I was still in elementary school, and it has continued into adulthood. Throughout my life I have been diagnosed with stomach ailments such as GIRD, IBD and now Crohn’s. Pain is a constant companion in my life, which makes you live it differently than everyone else. It makes me feel like a strange superhero that can spot a bathroom from a mile away. Just over a year ago I decided to take control of my life and I started a new diet and exercise program, which has transformed me. I am not, by any means, symptom-free, but the pain has subsided, the medication is gone and I am finally able to live my life. That’s why I’m hiking the 3,000 mile, 5-month long Continental Divide Trail (CDT) starting on April 20th. It starts on the Mexican border and finishes on the Canadian border. I am hiking the trail to live out a dream but also to show that for those of us that suffer from diseases such as Crohn’s and colitis, we can still live a normal, active life. Nature will be my cure and therapy and I look forward to sharing it all with you, while raising awareness. Follow me as I hike along the ‘Backbone of America’ on the CDT through my Facebook page: Couch2CDT, Twitter: @Couch2CDT, and my blog at: You can support Peter and the nearly 1 in 200 Americans with IBD at:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring Nutrition Tips

Here is Our May Issue of CCFA Newsletter. Letter from Rick Geswell, CCFA President Rick Geswell The end of this month marks CCFA's 11th annual IBD Day on the Hill. For those of you not joining us in Washington, DC on May 22 and 23, we encourage you to join us remotely by following us on Twitter @CCFA, using #CCFAHILLDAY for play-by-play updates. You can also make your voice heard by reaching out to your legislators. Spring Nutrition spring bbq With warm weather right around the corner, spring is the perfect time to re-energize your eating habits and focus on your health and fitness. How do you eat well this spring? Start by making sure to stay hydrated. Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, if you can tolerate them. Don’t try any new foods right before an event; instead, give your body time to get used to new foods or beverages. Get more nutrition tips and tasty recipes that help manage your IBD here! read more Manage your IBD with GI Buddy and Win an iPod Touch! GI Buddy If you haven't tried GI Buddy yet, you're missing out. Register now and you'll be entered to win an iPod touch® from now until we reach our goal of 6,000 new GI Buddy registrants!* With GI Buddy, you can easily record important aspects of your disease in real-time – including symptoms, treatment, diet, and lifestyle. GI Buddy can generate comprehensive reports to help you understand the full picture of your overall health to share with your healthcare team. * Rules: You must become a GI Buddy registrant through CCFA's GI Buddy online portal or iPhone® application to be eligible. Current GI Buddy, Community or I'll Be Determined registrants are not eligible. Winners will be notified via email and have 90 days to claim their gift. read more Clinical Trials & Other Studies CCFA provides a comprehensive database of studies and other research on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Some of the studies recently added to our list include: Health-Related Quality of Life in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: an online study conducted by the University of Memphis, Dept. of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research. Pediatric Parenting Stress among Parents of Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: an online survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Stout. By participating in a medical study or clinical trial, you can have a more active role in your own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they become widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research. Deciding whether you should participate in a study or clinical trial is an important personal decision, best made with a full understanding of the process of drug development and your specific role.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

One Teen's Snowboarding Dreams Almost Derailed

Here is a story about an Olympic hopeful his name is Jacob and here is HIS Story. At only 11 years old, Jacob was a nationally ranked snowboarder and an Olympic hopeful. But the night before a championship, his right tibia and fibula shattered. He was told he would never snowboard again. It felt like the end of the world – but it wasn’t. It was Crohn’s disease. Many people are familiar with the gastrointestinal symptoms associated with Crohn’s – but it affects children’s bodies in other ways too. IBD can actually prevent growing bones from absorbing all the nutrients they need, resulting in weak and brittle bones that break easily. This is what happened to Jacob. Jacob and his family never suspected he had Crohn’s disease – he wasn’t diagnosed until after his leg had healed. Then, at 14, more obvious symptoms appeared and he was plagued with chronic diarrhea and severe weight loss. For the moment, Jacob is in remission and doing great. But he knows there’s a good chance it won’t last. “This medicine isn’t going to work forever… ," he said. Research shows that it’s not uncommon for kids with Crohn’s disease to have weaker muscles and bones. In fact, as many as 40 percent of kids with Crohn’s disease have some growth impairment. This is just one more burden for kids with IBD. But with the support of generous friends like you, CCFA is helping researchers look for solutions. You can support CCFA and keep our vital research going – so kids like Jacob can have better therapies and eventually, cures. The only thing extraordinary about Jacob’s life should be his incredible snowboarding skills – not his Crohn’s disease. PLEASE Visit Our website

Friday, April 19, 2013

Young Teen Sells Jewelry For Those In Need

Here is a Story about a young Girl by the name of Molly Roberts who is now a Freshman in High School here is HER STORY. When I was 11 years old my whole world changed. I experienced intense stomach pain, unbearable fatigue and weight loss. After a series of tests, I was surprisingly relieved when my doctors figured out what my problem was and prescribed medicine to make me feel better. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Most people would think that the news would be devastating to a sixth grader who is barely old enough to understand. But those who know me best would say that it opened up my mind to new opportunities to make this world a better place. Crohn’s Disease has been a cloud with a huge silver lining. I do not mean to suggest that life with Crohn’s was not a major adjustment. For a child unable to swallow a Tylenol, taking eight and a half pills a day took some getting used to. I learned the hard way that certain foods such as nuts, popcorn and big salads give me unbearable stomach pain. If I choose to focus on the negative, I could tell you what it feels like to be anemic all the time, to go for blood tests every three months, to feel different from other kids my age, but that would be a waste of my time. So I will tell you about the positive instead: Crohn’s Disease has given me a unique perspective on what is important in life and a desire to help others who experience bumps in the road. I know how fortunate I am to live in New York City and to have access to the very best medical care. I am one of the lucky ones. By the fall of seventh grade, I was back to doing too much homework, singing, playing the guitar and making jewelry, a skill I picked up at Camp Vega in Fayette, Maine. I enjoyed making beaded bracelets on elastic cords that I wore in stacks on my wrist every day.Before I knew it, my friends from school and camp were asking me if they could buy my bracelets. I did not want to make a profit from my friends, but I was flattered by their responses to my designs. It made perfect sense to sell my jewelry and donate all of the profits to Crohn’s research. By donating my profits to research, I felt that maybe I could play some small part in the discovery of a cure, sooner rather than later. My doctor, Keith Benkov, thinks that there will be a cure for Crohn’s Disease in my lifetime. About a year and a half ago, I arranged a meeting with Dr. Benkov at Mount Sinai Hospital to get advice about where my contributions would be most meaningful. I was introduced to Dr. David Dunkin, a researcher at Mount Sinai who is making great progress in finding a cure for Crohn’s Disease by experimenting with mice in his lab. He discovered that a Chinese herb used to treat peanut allergies in children is also effective in reducing the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease in lab mice. Dr. Dunkin’s findings are very promising, but he desperately needs more funding. After our first meeting, I was convinced that my donations would be put to great use by contributing to his research, so I set up Molly’s Research Fund at Mount Sinai Hospital for that purpose. Since I started my jewelry business, I have had many great opportunities to raise money by selling my jewelry. I donate all of the profits to Molly’s Research Fund and to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. I now sell bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings and beaded bags. I have sold my bracelets at Letser’s NYC, at trunk shows, at charitable events for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and online through my website at I am frequently contacted on Fridays by desperate shoppers in search of last-minute bat mitzvah and sweet sixteen gifts; fortunately, I am always fully stocked with a large collection. My most popular bracelets are my miniature, semi-precious beads with various charms. I am very excited that this year I will be receiving the Rising Star Award presented by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation at the Women of Distinction Luncheon on April 23. The award is in recognition of my efforts to find a cure for Crohn’s Disease. I feel so fortunate that I have been able to raise over $18,000 for Crohn’s Disease since I started selling jewelry just a year and a half ago. It seems that the more others learn about my charity, the more they are eager to help. So many people have already donated to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation as a way of honoring and supporting me. Some have offered their personal connections to publicize my efforts; others have hosted trunk shows in their homes to promote my business. Although I would never wish Crohn’s Disease on anyone I can honestly say that in my life, it has been as much a positive force as a negative one. It is easy to go through life without thinking about how we can improve the world around us; that is a path I might have chosen if I had not experienced Crohn’s Disease. The illness does not make me who I am, but it has certainly opened my eyes to what I can do for others. Molly Roberts is a freshman at the Horace Mann School in Riverdale, N.Y. Come meet Molly and have an opportunity to buy one of her bracelets at CCFA’s NYC Women of Distinction Luncheon and help the 1 in 200 Americans with inflammatory bowel disease. Get more information here.