Here is a Letter from our CCFA President and CEO. JANUARY 2015 ISSUE
Letter from our President & CEO
Happy New Year! With your help, we ended 2014 on a strong and hopeful note. Last month, you had the opportunity to make twice the impact in our matching gift challenge, and your response was overwhelming. Together we met our match goal of $500,000 – which was doubled by a very generous family. Now we're an incredible $1 million closer to a future free from IBD.
The Foundation is also proud to recognize our partners in progress who, year after year, provide generous support for our education programs and patient services: Abbott, Aptalis, Coronado Biosciences, Janssen, Prometheus, Salix, Santarus, Shire, Takeda and Warner Chilcott.
Thanks to the support of you and our partners, we're looking forward to a year of giving back – to you! We have lots of exciting things in store including events, scholarships, Camp Oasis, and, as always, plenty of patient education and support. Here's to a productive and happy 2015.
Richard J. Geswell, CCFA President and CEO
Richard J. Geswell
Richard J. Geswell
President & CEO
Evan started playing soccer when he was 3... and soon his life revolved around it. In order to realize his dream of going pro, he practiced tirelessly and wrote to and befriended many professional soccer players. Even when Evan started experiencing severe stomach pain, he refused to give up on his dream. Unfortunately, his condition got much worse. Two years ago, he was diagnosed with non-responsive Crohn's disease and ulcerative proctitis. Now a sophomore in high school, Evan can't play soccer anymore, so he's devoting his dedication and work ethic to finding better treatments and cures for people with IBD – and he has some very special people on his team.
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Scholarships & IBD
Are you or a family member with IBD thinking about college? A college education can be costly, but scholarships can help, and there are three organizations who offer special scholarships to IBD patients: Convatec, Patient Advocate Foundation and Intense Intestines Foundation. Visit their sites to learn more about these resources.
While CCFA does not directly offer scholarships, you can learn more about additional scholarship opportunities here. For additional information or guidance, get in touch with the IBD Help Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Are you a member?
Becoming a CCFA member is the easiest and surest way to help us find treatments and cures for Crohn's and colitis... and to help the 1.6 million Americans living with IBD. With your tax-deductible membership, you'll receive exclusive benefits through CCFA all year long. Don't wait, join today!
Employment & IBD
While most patients with IBD can be successfully employed, many face challenges. Keep in mind that there are federal and state laws that protect people with IBD and require employers to implement accommodations to help employees manage their work and condition. Take a look at our new Employment & IBD fact sheet for more information or reach out to our IBD Help Center at email@example.com.
Ready for Camp Oasis?
It's that time of year again... to get ready for summer! Applications are officially open for Camp Oasis, a residential summer camp for kids with IBD. Find a camp near you and apply now for a life changing summer of fun, friends and support. You can also learn more about the camp and watch this video for an inside look at a day in the life of a Camp Oasis camper. We can't wait to see you this summer!
New and Improved Patient Resources
We've updated two of our signature publications: The Facts About Inflammatory Bowel Disease and A Guide for Teens with IBD. The fact book includes a brief overview of the disease and the latest IBD statistics, and the teen guide provides IBD information, tips and resources just for teenagers. Visit our publications page to access, download or order any of our brochures or fact sheets.
Sold Out IRONMAN... for Free!
You can register for Team Challenge for free AND get guaranteed entry to into sold out IRONMAN races. Join Team Challenge and help us find treatments and cures for IBD. Your FREE membership comes with exclusive benefits like training plans, professional coaching, fundraising support and much more. Join us today using discount code FREE.
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New Webcasts Available!
Do you have questions about Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis? CCFA has helpful resources, including our educational webcast archives that can help you manage your disease. Watch newly uploaded webcasts today!
We have made it to FRIDAY! YES! So let's take a moment to reflect over this week and prepare ourselves with gratefulness for ALL that God has done for us by keeping us protected from any hurt, harm or danger with these words of wisdom. Now it came to pass in those days that [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. —Luke 6:12
Read: Mark 14:32-42
Bible in a Year: Exodus 23-24; Matthew 20:1-16
When the snow flies in Michigan, I like to get my grandkids, grab our plastic sleds, and go slipping and sliding down our backyard. We zoom down the hill for about 10 seconds, and then climb back up for more.
When I travel to Alaska with a bunch of teenagers, we also go sledding. We are hauled by bus nearly to the top of a mountain. We jump on our sleds and, for the next 10 to 20 minutes (depending on levels of bravery), we slide at breakneck speeds down the mountain, holding on for dear life.
Ten seconds in my backyard or 10 minutes down an Alaskan mountain.
They’re both called sledding, but there is clearly a difference.
I’ve been thinking about this in regard to prayer. Sometimes we do the “10 seconds in the backyard” kind of praying—a quick, spur-of-the-moment prayer or a short thanks before eating. At other times, we’re drawn to “down the mountain” praying—extended, intense times that require concentration and passion in our relationship with Him. Both have their place and are vital to our lives.
Jesus prayed often, and sometimes for a long time (Luke 6:12; Mark 14:32-42). Either way, let us bring the desires of our heart to the God of the backyards and the mountains of our lives. —Dave Branon
Lord, please challenge us to pray constantly—both in short sessions and long. As we face the valleys, hills, and mountains of our lives, may we lift our hearts and minds to You in constant communication.
The heart of prayer is prayer from the heart.
INSIGHT: Prayer was the essence of Jesus’ relationship with the Father. He often withdrew to a solitary place to pray (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 9:18). Sometimes He spent long hours communicating with His Father (Luke 6:12; John 17) and other times He prayed short, quick prayers (Matt. 14:19; Luke 23:34,46; John 12:27).
Here we are getting ready to Jump start a New Week with these words of wisdom to help us get through this Week with Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. —Nehemiah 6:9
Read: Nehemiah 6:1-9, 15
Bible in a Year: Exodus 14-15; Matthew 17
Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, is the man credited with making Singapore what it is today. During his leadership, Singapore grew to be rich and prosperous and one of the most developed nations in Asia. Asked if he ever felt like giving up when he faced criticism and challenges during his many years of public service, he replied, “This is a life-long commitment.”
Nehemiah, who led in the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, refused to give up. He faced insults and intimidation from the enemies all around him as well as injustices from his own people (Neh. 4–5). His enemies even insinuated that he had a personal agenda (6:6-7). He sought help from God while taking every defensive step he could.
Despite the challenges, the wall was completed in 52 days (6:15). But Nehemiah’s work was not complete. He encouraged the Israelites to study the Scriptures, to worship, and to keep God’s law. After completing 12 years as governor (5:14), he returned to make sure his reforms were continuing (13:6). Nehemiah had a life-long commitment to leading the people.
We all face challenges and difficulties in life. But as God helped Nehemiah, He will also strengthen our hands (6:9) for the rest of our lives in whatever tasks He gives to us.
—C. P. Hia
Dear Lord, sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged when faced with criticism or challenges. Help me to persevere and grant me the strength to be faithful to what You have called me to do.
Life’s challenges are designed not to break us but to bend us toward God.
The week has come to an end we have made it to FRIDAY YES! Here is some words of wisdom to substains us for this day. Forgetting those things which are behind . . . I press toward the goal. —Philippians 3:13-14
Read: Philippians 3:12-16
Bible in a Year: Exodus 7-8; Matthew 15:1-20
I was having lunch with two men who had opened their lives to Christ while they were in prison. The younger man had been discouraged by the fact that the family from whom he had stolen would not forgive him.
“My crime was violent,” the older man said. “It continues to haunt and affect the family to this day. They have not forgiven me, . . . the pain is just too great. At first, I found myself paralyzed by this longing for their forgiveness.” He continued his story: “Then one day I realized I was adding selfishness to my brokenness. It’s a lot to expect that the family forgive me. I was focused on what I felt I needed to heal from my past. It took some time to realize that their forgiveness of me was a matter between them and God.”
“How can you stand it?” the younger man asked.
The older man explained that God did for him what he didn’t deserve and what others simply can’t do: He died for our sins, and He keeps His promise to move our sins “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12) and “will not remember [our] sins” (Isa. 43:25).
In the face of such great love, we honor Him by accepting His forgiveness as sufficient. We must forget what lies behind and keep pressing forward (Phil. 3:13-14).
Thank You, Father, for the work of Christ on the
cross. Help me to understand and accept what
it means for me, and to be a messenger of that
forgiveness to those I meet along the way.
The work of Christ is sufficient for every sin.
INSIGHT: Paul often uses the metaphor of an athlete running a race to depict the Christian life (1 Cor. 9:24-27; Phil. 2:16; 2 Tim. 4:7). In today’s passage, he compares himself to someone running a long-distance race. Paul had probably been a Christian for about 30 years when he wrote this letter; he was known as the apostle to the Gentiles (Eph. 3:8; Gal. 2:8) and as a teacher of the Scriptures. He could have been content with his own spiritual maturity, but he did not consider himself as having “already reached perfection” (v.12 nlt). Instead, Paul persisted in pursuing Christlikeness (v.10) with the determination and vigor of a runner whose single goal is to be the first to cross the finish line.
As we ALL know today we are in a Celebratory mood and the reason for this is we are Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who would have been celebrating is 86th Birthday on January 15, 1929 fought for Racial Equality, Freedom, and Justice for ALL nationalities. I'm constantly reminded of the struggle that my Parents have endure during the time of the Civil Right movement because of that constant reminder I am blessed to hear there stories of how they overcame the Racism and Social Injustices of a Society and Culture it must have been hard to endure that kind of tension and brutality BUT to see them face it and go through it with such grace to rise above the ignorance shows true resilience of a culture of people who were NOT going to let this undermine them as a People, Person or Human Being. So as we take a moment to reflect on the Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who had the courage to stand up and ACT for Racial Equality, Freedom and Justice and for ALL of those that stood along side with him to pave the way for us to be here today We say THANK YOU.
As we enter into a new week and Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day let's take a moment to reflect on the week ahead with these words of wisdom. No man ever spoke like this Man! —John 7:46
Read: John 7:37-46
Bible in a Year: Genesis 46-48; Matthew 13:1-30
A US congressman, John Lewis, was 23 years old when he participated in the historic 1963 civil rights “March on Washington” led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Half a century later, journalist Bill Moyers asked Lewis how he was affected by Dr. King’s I Have A Dream speech that day. Mr. Lewis replied, “You couldn’t leave after hearing him speak and go back to business as usual. You had to do something, you had to act. You had to move. You had to go out and spread the good news.”
Many who encountered Jesus found it impossible to remain neutral about Him. John 7:25-46 records two different reactions to Jesus. While “many of the people believed in Him” (v.31), the religious leaders tried to silence Him by sending temple guards to arrest Him (v.32). The guards were likely present when Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (vv.37-38). The guards returned without Jesus and were asked, “Why have you not brought Him?” (v.45). They answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (v.46).
The words of Jesus compel us to act, and to move, beyond business as usual.—David C. McCasland
So let our lips and lives express
The holy gospel we profess;
So let our works and virtues shine,
To prove the doctrine all divine. —Watts
Jesus’ death forgave my past sins and inspires my present obedience.
INSIGHT: Jesus was in Jerusalem at the temple when He gave the teaching of John 7. Observant Jews came to the temple to celebrate three annual harvest festivals (Ex. 23:14-17; Deut. 16:1-17): Passover (together with the Feast of Unleavened Bread), Feast of Harvest (Weeks or Pentecost), and Feast of Ingathering (Tabernacles or Booths). As a devout Jew, Jesus faithfully kept these annual feasts (v.37; Luke 2:41-42; John 2:23).
Well we have made it to the end of the week YES! It's FRIDAY! so as we take a look back at ALL that has transpire let's be grateful that we are still here. My word . . . shall not return to Me void.—Isaiah 55:11
Read: Isaiah 55:8-11
Bible in a Year: Genesis 39-40; Matthew 11
When I was a boy, our family would occasionally travel across Nevada. We loved the desert thunderstorms. Accompanied by lightning bolts and claps of thunder, huge sheets of rain would blanket the hot sand as far as the eye could see. The cooling water refreshed the earth—and us.
Water produces marvelous changes in arid regions. For example, the pincushion cactus is completely dormant during the dry season. But after the first summer rains, cactuses burst into bloom, displaying delicate petals of pink, gold, and white.
Likewise, in the Holy Land after a rainstorm, dry ground can seemingly sprout vegetation overnight. Isaiah used rain’s renewal to illustrate God’s refreshing Word: “As the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:10-11).
Scripture carries spiritual vitality. That’s why it doesn’t return void. Wherever it encounters an open heart, it brings refreshment, nourishment, and new life.
God’s Word is like refreshing rain
That waters crops and seed;
It brings new life to open hearts,
And meets us in our need. —Sper
The Bible is to a thirsty soul what water is to a barren land.
INSIGHT: We cannot know God unless He reveals Himself to us. An attribute of God is a characteristic that God has chosen to reveal about Himself through His Word. Incommunicable attributes are those that belong to God alone (e.g., omniscience [all-knowing]; omnipotence [all-powerful]; omnipresence [present everywhere]; immutability [unchangeable]; infinite [having no limits]; transcendence [beyond comprehension]).
Communicable attributes are those that human beings can also possess (e.g., compassion, love, mercy, goodness). In Isaiah 55:8-9, God reveals that He is unlike any other being and our finite minds can never fully understand Him (see Job 11:7-9; Ps. 131:1; Rom. 11:33). Throughout Scripture we are told that there is no one like God (see Ex. 15:11; Ps. 35:10; 89:6-8; Isa. 40:25).
Here we are jump starting the New Year off with an Inspirational story about a young teen Living with Crohn's here is Matt story.Shari Capers remembers the moment she knew her son, Matt, was sick.
“He was lined up with his friends in Kindergarten. Next to everyone else in his class, he was really pale. That’s when I knew something wasn’t right,” she says. Within a few weeks, they learned he had Crohn’s disease.
Shortly after the diagnosis, Matt developed perianal disease, which required surgery. One day, he even had to be airlifted to the hospital after a particular Crohn’s medication impacted his heart. He was in the ICU for 8 days. After Matt’s heart scare, he began taking another medication that helped him grow a few inches, and his perianal disease healed up.
This was a lot for a kid to go through—and Matt hadn’t even reached his tenth birthday yet.
Now a freshman in high school, Matt (pictured with his family) still struggles with Crohn’s disease. As he says, “Well, you can't really push it out of the way. It's always walking behind you.”
He hasn't had any more issues with perianal disease. Now it's just general inflammation in his intestines. He gets a shot every two weeks to help with that, and he also had surgery to remove some of his intestines. Matt still experiences complications from the medicine he takes. Some of them work for a while and then they stop.
With all that uncertainty, Shari says it has been nice to have CCFA out there as a resource for their family. For her, the research aspect of CCFA is the most valuable—knowing new drugs are in the pipeline.
Matt has found comfort in Camp Oasis, where he can feel normal with other kids going through the same thing. As a family, the Capers stay involved with Team Challenge and Take Steps. They even went go the Georgia Dome as part of CCFA’s Touch of Football event.
Together, they are doing everything they can to support research for new treatments and cures. They lent their story to CCFA this holiday to help raise money for pediatric research. If you’d like to join them in supporting this important work, please click here.
So here we are getting ready to start a New Week as we start this new week let's take a moment to focus on these words of wisdom. You, who once were alienated . . . , yet now He has reconciled. —Colossians 1:21
In the years following the American Civil War (1861–1865), Union Major General Lew Wallace served as a governor of the New Mexico territories; New Mexico not yet having been admitted as a state. His work there put him in contact with many of the characters that make up the Wild West’s near-mythic history, including Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett. It was here that Wallace wrote what has been called by some “the most influential Christian book” of the 19th century, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
Wallace witnessed the worst impact of sin on humanity as he saw the violence of the Civil War and the Wild West. In life and in his best-selling book, Wallace understood that only the story of Jesus Christ has the power of redemption and reconciliation.
For the follower of Christ, the climax of our lives was the moment God “delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14). Now we have the privilege of being storytellers of God’s wonderful redemption. —Randy Kilgore
Lord, please take control of my words today.
Fill me with Your words of love and grace.
Use them to turn some heart toward You.
I can do nothing without You.
The difference Christ makes in your life is a story worth telling.
Bible in a year: Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17
Paul mentions the believer’s past, present, and future in this passage. We “once were enemies,” but now in Christ “we have redemption” and are “reconciled” (vv.14,21). When Christ returns, He will “present [us] holy and blameless” if we “continue in the faith” (vv.22-23).
We have made to the end of the New Week as we prepare for the weekend let's take a moment to reflect on ALL God has brought us through this week. Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. —Psalm 119:97
Each morning when I reach my office, I have one simple habit—check all my emails. Most of the time, I’ll work through them in a perfunctory fashion. There are some emails, however, that I’m eager to open. You guessed it—those from loved ones.
Someone has said that the Bible is God’s love letter to us. But perhaps on some days, like me, you just don’t feel like opening it and your heart doesn’t resonate with the words of the psalmist: “Oh, how I love Your law!” (Ps. 119:97). The Scriptures are “Your commandments” (v.98), “Your testimonies” (v.99), “Your precepts” (v.100), “Your word” (v.101, emphasis added).
A question by Thomas Manton (1620–1677), once a lecturer at Westminster Abbey, still holds relevance for us today. He asked: “Who is the author of Scripture? God. . . . What is the end of Scripture? God. Why was the Scripture written, but that we might everlastingly enjoy the blessed God?”
It is said of some people that the more you know them the less you admire them; but the reverse is true of God. Familiarity with the Word of God, or rather the God of the Word, breeds affection, and affection seeks yet greater familiarity.
As you open your Bible, remember that God—the One who loves you the most—has a message for you. —Poh Fang Chia
Oh, may I love Thy precious Word,
May I explore the mine,
May I its fragrant flowers glean,
May light upon me shine! —Hodder
Knowing the Bible helps us know the God of the Bible.
Bible in a year: Genesis 23-24; Matthew 7
The author of Psalm 119 (the longest psalm in the Bible) is not named. Some scholars say it was penned by Ezra, whose devotion to God’s Word is well-attested (Ezra 7:10; Neh. 8:1-9). Others say David composed it. Despite being scorned and ridiculed for trusting the Scriptures (vv.22-23,31,42,46,78), the psalmist did not waver but remained fully committed to them. In today’s passage, the psalmist affirms his deep love for God’s law (v.97) and testifies how constant meditation on it has made him wiser than his enemies (v.98), his teachers (v.99), and the older (wiser) men of his day (v.100). God’s Word provides wisdom and perspective for living.
Two Years ago Today on January 8, 2013 God brought Restoration back into my life when I overcame Crohn's Disease. So on this day I'M CELEBRATING MY LIFE. I just want 2 take a minute and say Thank U GOD for U're Healing Power in my LIFE U are an AWESOME GOD!
Starting the New week off in this New Year with Be anxious for nothing, but . . . let your requests be made known to God. —Philippians 4:6
When our daughter and her fiancé began receiving wedding presents, it was a happy time. One gift they received was a bench cabinet that had to be assembled—and I volunteered for the task because they already had so much to do to prepare for the wedding. Although it took a couple of hours, it was much easier than expected. All of the wooden pieces were precut and predrilled, and all the hardware for assembly was included. The instructions were virtually foolproof.
Unfortunately, most of life isn’t that way. Life doesn’t carry with it simple instructions, nor do we find all of the necessary parts in hand. We face situations with no clear idea of what we’re getting into or what it will take to pull it off. We can easily find ourselves overwhelmed with these difficult moments.
But we need not face our burdens alone. God wants us to bring them to Him: “Be anxious for nothing, but . . . let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
We have a Savior who understands and offers His peace in the midst of our struggles. —Bill Crowder
Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blest—
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest. —Havergal
The secret of peace is to give every anxious care to God.
Bible in a year: Genesis 13-15; Matthew 5:1-26
Writing while imprisoned, Paul reminds the believers in the church at Philippi not to be anxious about anything. But these familiar verses should not be detached from what follows. After telling the believers not to be anxious (v.6), Paul encourages them to focus their minds on positive virtues (v.8).
The week has come to an end in a brand New Year 2015 so as you take a moment to reflect on that right there let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom in this brand New Year 2015. The Lord God . . . said to him, “Where are you?” —Genesis 3:9
The two teenage boys heard the sound of their parents’ car and panicked. How would they explain the mess in the house? Their father’s instructions had been clear that morning before he and their mother drove out of town: no parties, no rowdy friends. But the unruly friends came and the boys allowed them to stay, despite their father’s warning. Now the house was in a jumble and the boys were tipsy and disheveled. In fear, they hid.
That was how Adam and Eve must have felt after they had chosen to disobey God and then heard the sound of Him approaching. In fear, they hid themselves. “Where are you?” God called (Gen. 3:9). Adam responded, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (v.10). Sin makes us feel afraid and naked, and we become vulnerable to even more temptation.
God is still calling to people: “Where are you?” Many run away, trying to hide from Him or drown out the sound of His voice. Yet we cannot hide from God; He knows exactly where we are. Rather than hide in fear, we can respond in this way: “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). —Lawrence Darmani
Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you over evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood. —Jones
The only place to hide sin is under the blood of Christ.
Bible in a year: Genesis 4-6; Matthew 2
God did not force Adam and Eve to obey Him but allowed them to choose. Similarly, He did not force them to come to Him after they sinned. Instead, He called to them and allowed them to respond to His call.
We have entered into a New Year gone is 2014 Welcome 2015 with ALL it's Splendor and ALL it's Unexpected and Unseen Adventure. What I know for sure is 2015 is going to be NOT like any other it's going to have it's own Uniqueness. So weather you rang in the New Year with Family and Friends or just Hung solo 2015 is sure going to be a Blessings. So I just want 2 wish U ALL a HAPPIE NEW YEAR! May this year be Prosperous and May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.