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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NBA Power Forward Larry Nance, Jr.'s Story

Here is NBA Los Angeles Lakers Power Forward Larry Nance Jr. story of dealing with IBD in the NBA. Larry Nance, Jr. is a force on the basketball court – as a power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, he had an impressive rookie year in 2015, playing in 63 games and averaging 5.5 points per game. Now, following a wrist injury, Nance is ready and raring to go for the 2016 NBA season. Standing at 6 feet 9 inches tall and 230 pounds, it’s hard to imagine Nance as anything but the impressive athlete that he is today. But there was a point, not too many years ago, when Nance could barely get out of bed, let alone play basketball. Nance was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was 16 years old. However, for several years before he received an official diagnosis, he suffered from symptoms of the disease – painful cramping, weight loss, fatigue, and stunted growth - with fatigue being the most debilitating. The extreme tiredness, a common symptom experienced by patients living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, impacted his life majorly. “I didn’t deal with [the fatigue] well. I laid around the house all day, I had no energy [to do anything],” he said. “I slept in class and I wasn’t that kind of kid… I didn’t have the energy to practice or play [any sports].” After several years exhibiting symptoms, his parents realized that something was seriously wrong and took him to see the doctor. After performing a few diagnostic tests, Nance was diagnosed with Crohn’s. Based on his doctor's recommendation, Nance began a treatment regimen of infliximab (Remicade) and methotrexate, both of which he is still on today. He said the difference in how he was feeling was night and day after beginning the medications. “Once we got [my disease] under control, I blossomed and started on the path that I’m on now [as a pro-athlete],” he said. Nance grew nine inches from the time of diagnosis to today, and has gained nearly 100 pounds. But most importantly, his fatigue became almost non-existent. “I’ll experience it very randomly but as long as I stay on track with my medications, it’s managed,” he said. And when the fatigue does reappear, he tries to log as many naps as possible. “Any time I can pick up a little sleep, I try,” he said. “If I don’t get it, my symptoms start to show up again.” Now, instead of being consumed by fatigue, Nance is focused on the start of his second year in the NBA and helping other IBD patients. He often interacts with pediatric patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center when he receives his infliximab infusions. His advice to others experiencing debilitating fatigue and other crippling IBD symptoms? “Find what works for you and stick by it,” Nance said. “[IBD] is very personal. You need to make your illness work around you. You still control yourself, don’t let Crohn’s define you.”

Monday, November 28, 2016

Beautiful

As we are wrapping up this Thanksgiving weekend lets take a moment to be Grateful but to also reflect on ALL that GOD has done in our lives, as we start this New Week out before we head into the 12 month of the New Year lets take a moment to think on these words of wisdom.Read: Luke 7:36–50 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 33–34; 1 Peter 5 She has done a beautiful thing to me.—Mark 14:6 Picture two teenage girls. The first girl is strong and healthy. The other girl has never known the freedom of getting around on her own. From her wheelchair she faces not only the emotional challenges common to life, but also a stream of physical pains and struggles. But both girls are smiling cheerfully as they enjoy each other’s company. Two beautiful teenagers—each seeing in the other the treasure of friendship. Jesus devoted much of His time and attention to people like the girl in the wheelchair. People with lifelong disabilities or physical deformities as well as those who were looked down on by others for various reasons. In fact, Jesus let one of “those people” anoint Him with oil, to the disdain of the religious leaders (Luke 7:39). On another occasion, when a woman demonstrated her love with a similar act, Jesus told her critics, “Leave her alone . . . . She has done a beautiful thing to me” (Mark 14:6). God values everyone equally; there are no distinctions in His eyes. In reality, we are all in desperate need of Christ’s love and forgiveness. His love compelled Him to die on the cross for us. May we see each person as Jesus did: made in God’s image and worthy of His love. Let’s treat everyone we meet with Christlike equality and learn to see beauty as He does. —Dave Branon Dear Lord, help me to see people as You see them—not important because of what they can do or how they look, but because they are made in God’s image and You loved them enough to die for them. Everyone we meet bears the image of God.

Monday, November 21, 2016

What About You?

As we begin this Thanksgiving Week lets take moment to be Thankful for ALL that God has done and is doing this Thanksgiving week as we prepare to spend time with our Families take the time to Stop a reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: Ephesians 4:25–32 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 16–17; James 3 The tongue has the power of life and death.—Proverbs 18:21 Emily listened as a group of friends talked about their Thanksgiving traditions with family. “We go around the room and each one tells what he or she is thankful to God for,” Gary said. Another friend mentioned his family's Thanksgiving meal and prayertime. He recalled time with his dad before he had died: “Even though Dad had dementia, his prayer of thanks to the Lord was clear.” Randy shared, “My family has a special time of singing together on the holiday. My grandma goes on and on and on!” Emily’s sadness and jealousy grew as she thought of her own family, and she complained: “Our traditions are to eat turkey, watch television, and never mention anything about God or giving thanks.” Right away Emily felt uneasy with her attitude. You are part of that family. What would you like to do differently to change the day? she asked herself. She decided she wanted to privately tell each person she was thankful to the Lord that they were her sister, niece, brother, or great-niece. When the day arrived, she expressed her thankfulness for them one by one, and they all felt loved. It wasn’t easy because it wasn’t normal conversation in her family, but she experienced joy as she shared her love for each of them. “Let everything you say be good and helpful,” wrote the apostle Paul, “so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Eph. 4:29 nlt). Our words of thanks can remind others of their value to us and to God. —Anne Cetas Dear Lord, show me how I can be an encouragement to others with my words. The human spirit fills with hope at the sound of an encouraging word. INSIGHT: At first glance, today’s Scripture can look like a list of rules. Stop telling lies, quit stealing, don’t use abusive language, stop being bitter or angry. But it’s important to remember that these instructions aren’t just about changing behavior. They are about a change in identity. This list flows out of Paul’s earlier exhortation for the Christians in Ephesus to live according to their new identity as children of light (4:17-21). They used to participate in all kinds of sinful behavior. But when the Spirit opened their minds and softened their hearts (v. 18) to the truth of Christ, they were no longer dead but became alive in Christ. The Spirit renews our thoughts and attitudes, making an inward change that has outward effects. Dennis Moles

Friday, November 18, 2016

Love Without Borders

The week has come to an end it's FRIDAY! lets take a moment to be Grateful that we have made it to the end of the week with these words of wisdom Read: Luke 22:39–46 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 8–10; Hebrews 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.—John 15:13 During the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900, missionaries trapped in a home in T’ai Y√ľan Fu decided their only hope for survival rested on running through the crowd that was calling for their deaths. Aided by weapons they held, they escaped the immediate threat. However, Edith Coombs, noticing that two of her injured Chinese students had not escaped, raced back into danger. She rescued one, but stumbled on her return trip for the second student and was killed. Meanwhile, missionaries in Hsin Chou district had escaped and were hiding in the countryside, accompanied by their Chinese friend Ho Tsuen Kwei. But he was captured while scouting an escape route for his friends in hiding and was martyred for refusing to reveal their location. In the lives of Edith Coombs and Tsuen Kwei we see a love that rises above cultural or national character. Their sacrifice reminds us of the greater grace and love of our Savior. As Jesus awaited His arrest and subsequent execution, He prayed earnestly, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.” But He concluded that request with this resolute example of courage, love, and sacrifice: “Yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). His death and resurrection made our eternal lives possible. —Randy Kilgore Lord, may the world see our love for each other—and the deeds that come from it—as a great testimony to the bond of unity we have in You. May they want to know You too. Only the light of Christ’s love can eliminate the darkness of hatred. INSIGHT: The Bible speaks of God’s love for us in terms of a generous sacrifice. The apostle John writes of a God who “so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). To prove that God truly loves us, John directs us to Jesus’s sacrificial death: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). Alluding to His own sacrificial love just hours before He went to the cross, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Sim Kay Tee

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What Are You Thankful For?

Here is the November issue of CCFA'S Newsletter Letter from our President & CEO What are you thankful for this year? At the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, we're thankful for supporters and friends like you! You're helping us bring scientists and patients together to better understand IBD, provide much-needed support to people nationwide, improve the quality of care patients receive, and much more. Thank you for making this work possible. It means the world to people affected by IBD—including Amanda, who is running in our Thanksgiving Turkey Trot on her husband's behalf. Please take a minute to read their touching story below. Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy, happy Thanksgiving. Michael Osso President & CEO Join Amanda—and Trot for Crohn's & Colitis CURES! Team Challenge is getting ready for Thanksgiving with our third annual Turkey Trot! On Thanksgiving Day, run or walk with us anywhere in the country. We promise it will be a great way to start—or finish—your Turkey Day! Amanda (pictured on right) is thankful that her husband Ben has been healthy enough for them to start a family. Ben was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis 11 years ago. Since then, he has failed on every available medication and had many surgeries. Amanda will be doing the Turkey Trot again this year because she's "thankful for all of the support and knowledge CCFA has given [her] family, as well as the HOPE they have given [them] for a future free from IBD." Register now for only $35, and receive an awesome die-cast medal and your own bib to personalize. Hurry though, medals are limited and will sell out! REGISTER NOW ► Last Chance to Join Us in New Orleans! Beignets, music, an amazing race course, and a pasta party among the Mardi Gras floats—this is one Team Challenge event you do NOT want to miss! Training starts now, and you can walk or run the 10k, Half Marathon, or Marathon distance on the February 5th event. Team Challenge is a great way to train for your first, or next, race—but it's about so much more than the miles. We are a family that offers moral and practical support, compassion, and love. It's a transformative experience that, from start to finish, truly changes lives and helps us get one step closer to finding cures. Click here to have one of our local managers contact you to answer your questions, and help you take the first step. LEARN MORE ► Show Your Thanks for CCFA Scientists Support groundbreaking research like our IBD Qorus™ and IBD Plexus® initiatives. Take Steps and WIN! Register for a Take Steps walk in your local community and fundraise or donate $50 by December 7 to win your choice of an Apple Series 2 smartwatch or a Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch. Join us at one of our more than 60 walks in the spring and experience a sense of community and belonging that only happens when a united group comes together to celebrate our success. Get all the contest details at http://www.cctakesteps.org/smartwatch. Thank you to our Take Steps 2016 national platinum sponsor: AbbVie. REGISTER NOW ► Tips for Holiday Eating The holidays can be difficult for IBD patients when it comes to diet—but don't let this get in the way of your fun! You can always bring a dish to the event that may be IBD-friendly, or eat before you go. Check out other helpful holiday tips, review our Diet, Nutrition, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease brochure, or contact our IBD Help Center at info@ccfa.org or 888-694-8872. READ MORE ► IBD and Diet: Facebook Chat Join CCFA and Mayo Clinic’s Karen A. Hanson APRN, C.N.P. for a Facebook chat about what you can do to manage, maintain, and enhance your diet and nutrition on Wednesday, November 16 from 8-9 p.m. EST. This chat will take place as a text-based chat on CCFA's Facebook page. Submit your questions to socialmedia@ccfa.org, and Karen will respond to as many as she can during the hour! LEARN MORE ► Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week Is Almost Here! Join us December 1-7 in educating the public about Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and raising critical awareness on behalf of the 1.6 million Americans living with these debilitating digestive diseases. Add our Twibbon to your social media profile picture, donate a social media post to our Thunderclap, or share your story on our website. Stay tuned for more information about Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week! JOIN US ► Take Our Step Therapy Survey IBD patients may be subjected to step therapy, which is when an insurer requires patients to fail first on a preferred medication before covering the medication that the physician initially prescribed. To address this issue, CCFA is gearing up in 2017 to develop a step therapy education program. Please take a moment to complete this step therapy survey—and tell us how step therapy practices impact you. TAKE THE SURVEY ► CCFA provides a comprehensive database of studies, clinical trials, and other research opportunities on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Here are a few of the recently added studies: Ethical Issues in Prescription Drug Access under the Restricted Distribution Program for Tysabri is recruiting Crohn's disease patients who have been prescribed Tysabri within the past year. GEM Project: A Multidisciplinary Human Study on the Genetic, Environmental, and Microbial Interactions that Cause Inflammatory Bowel Disease is looking for Crohn's disease patients who have at least one healthy first degree relative. A Phase 3b Open-label Study to Determine the Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Vedolizumab Subcutaneous in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. A Phase 3 Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study, With a Vedolizumab IV Reference Arm, to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Vedolizumab Subcutaneous as Maintenance Therapy in patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. 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. 7​33 Th​ird Av​en​ue, Sui​te 51​0, Ne​w Y​ork,​ N​Y 10​01​7 www.ccfa.org | 8​00-​93​2-​2​423 Talk with an I​BD Info​rmation Specialist at 88​8.M​y.Gu​t.P​ain | 8​88-​69​4-8​87​2

Monday, November 14, 2016

All Together Now

The New Week has begun with these words of wisdom Read: Romans 15:1–7 Bible in a Year: Lamentations 3–5; Hebrews 10:19–39 With one mind and one voice . . . glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.—Romans 15:6 While Nicholas Taylor was boarding a train in Perth, Australia, his leg became wedged in the gap between the platform and a commuter car. When safety officials could not free him, they coordinated the efforts of nearly 50 passengers who lined up and, on the count of three, pushed against the train. Working in unison, they shifted the weight just enough to free Taylor’s leg. The apostle Paul recognized the power of Christians working together in many of his letters to the early churches. He urged the Roman believers to accept each other the way Christ had accepted them and said, “[May God] give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 15:5-6). Unity with other believers enables us to broadcast God’s greatness and also helps us to endure persecution. Knowing that the Philippians would pay a price for their faith, Paul encouraged them to strive “together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you” (Phil. 1:27-28). Satan loves to divide and conquer, but his efforts fail when, with God’s help, we “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt Dear God, please let Christians everywhere experience the blessing of unity in You. Remind us of what we have in common: one hope, one faith, and one Lord—Jesus Christ. Our unity comes from our union with Christ. INSIGHT: The Roman believers were in need of building on the sense of unity they enjoyed. Our reading for today concludes on an essential ingredient in interpersonal relationships, that of acceptance. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Certainly a subtle sensing of rejection will inhibit all healthy relationships. We are to accept others as Christ has accepted us Dennis Fisher

Friday, November 11, 2016

Seeing Well

Made it to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! with these words of wisdom on this Veterans Day Thanks to ALL the Brave Men & Women who serve the United States of America. Read: John 15:12–17 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8 You are my friends if you do what I command.—John 15:14 Raleigh looks like a powerful dog—he is large and muscular and has a thick coat of fur. And he weighs over 100 pounds! Despite his appearance, Raleigh connects well with people. His owner takes him to nursing homes and hospitals to bring people a smile. Once, a four-year-old girl spotted Raleigh across a room. She wanted to pet him, but was afraid to get close. Eventually, her curiosity overcame her sense of caution and she spent several minutes talking to him and petting him. She discovered that he is a gentle creature, even though he is powerful. The combination of these qualities reminds me of what we read about Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus was approachable—He welcomed little children (Matt. 19:13-15). He was kind to an adulterous woman in a desperate situation (John 8:1-11). Compassion motivated Him to teach crowds (Mark 6:34). At the same time, Jesus’s power was astounding. Heads turned and jaws dropped as He subdued demons, calmed violent storms, and resurrected dead people! (Mark 1:21-34; 4:35-41; John 11). The way we see Jesus determines how we relate to Him. If we focus only on His power, we may treat Him with the detached worship we’d give a comic book superhero. Yet, if we overemphasize His kindness, we risk treating Him too casually. The truth is that Jesus is both at once—great enough to deserve our obedience yet humble enough to call us friends. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt Jesus, thank You for the privilege of knowing You. I acknowledge Your gentle power. I worship You as the Son of God—full of grace and glory. What we think of Jesus shows in how we relate with Him. INSIGHT: Jesus spoke of “a new commandment” to love one another (John 13:34). The command to love is not entirely new (1 John 2:7), for God commanded every Jew to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:43; 22:39). What is new is that Jesus raised the bar to the highest standard of loving: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). He used the words servants and friends to contrast the new level of love and intimacy we now have with Him. The one who loved you as He loved Himself is a true friend, one who will humbly and lovingly serve you (13:1-17), and one who sacrificially loved you, even laying down His life for you (15:13). Sim Kay Tee

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Difficult Hill

The weekend has come to an end and we are gearing up to start a New Week with these words of wisdom to help us get through the start of this Week. Read: Psalm 110 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 40–42; Hebrews 4 He will drink from a brook along the way, and so he will lift his head high.—Psalm 110:7 High in a fold of Jughandle Peak in the mountains north of our home in Idaho lies a glacial lake. The route to the lake goes up a steep, exposed ridge through boulders and loose stones. It’s a strenuous ascent. At the beginning of the climb, however, there is a brook—a spring that seeps out of soft, mossy earth and flows through a lush meadow. It’s a quiet place to drink deeply and prepare for the hard climb ahead. In John Bunyan’s classic allegory of the Christian life, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian arrives at the foot of a steep ascent called the Hill Difficulty, “at the bottom of which was a spring . . . Christian now went to the spring and drank to refresh himself, and then began to go up the hill.” Perhaps the difficult mountain you face is a rebellious child or a serious medical diagnosis. The challenge seems more than you can endure. Before you face your next major task, visit the spring of refreshment that is God Himself. Come to Him with all your weakness, weariness, helplessness, fear, and doubt. Then drink deeply of His power, strength, and wisdom. God knows all your circumstances and will supply a store of comfort, of spiritual strengthening and consolation. He will lift up your head and give you strength to go on. —David Roper Father, at this moment I turn to You for strength in my weakness, energy for my weariness, and faith in my doubt. To help strengthen your trust in God, read Hope: Choosing Faith Instead of Fear at discoveryseries.org/q0733 He who overrules all things . . . enabled Christian to . . . continue on his way. John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress INSIGHT: Psalm 110 is one of many Messianic psalms. These prophetic Hebrew hymns are called Messianic because they predict the coming of God’s anointed king or Christ (Messiah means Christ) which is Jesus. This particular psalm reaches both back and forward in the biblical text to teach us something about who Jesus is and the role He plays in bridging the gap between God and humanity. Dennis Moles

Friday, November 4, 2016

Strong Conqueror

We have come to the end of the week in the 11th month of the New Year it's already November BOY! Time is moving here are some words of wisdom as we have enter into the month of November Read: John 18:10–14, 36–37 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 32–33; Hebrews 1 My kingdom is from another place.—John 18:36 Most of us hope for good government. We vote, we serve, and we speak out for causes we believe are fair and just. But political solutions remain powerless to change the condition of our hearts. Many of Jesus’s followers anticipated a Messiah who would bring a vigorous political response to Rome and its heavy-handed oppression. Peter was no exception. When Roman soldiers came to arrest Christ, Peter drew his sword and took a swing at the head of the high priest’s servant, lopping off his ear in the process. Jesus halted Peter’s one-man war, saying, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 18:11). Hours later, Jesus would tell Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders” (v. 36). The Lord’s restraint in that moment, as His life hung in the balance, astonishes us when we ponder the scope of His mission. On a future day, He will lead the armies of heaven into battle. John wrote, “With justice he judges and wages war” (Rev. 19:11). But as He endured the ordeal of His arrest, trial, and crucifixion, Jesus kept His Father’s will in view. By embracing death on the cross, He set in motion a chain of events that truly transforms hearts. And in the process, our Strong Conqueror defeated death itself. —Tim Gustafson Father, how prone I am to reacting quickly rather than wisely. Show me Your will for my life so that I will purposefully choose the path You have for me. Real restraint is not weakness, for it arises out of genuine strength. INSIGHT: At Gethsemane Jesus restrained and conquered (or overcame) His own natural inclinations that wished He would not have to undergo the excruciating agony of crucifixion (Luke 22:42). Restraint is not always a high priority in our lives, but we all need help to overcome our natural inclinations. One aspect of the Spirit’s control over us, according to Galatians 5:23, is self-control. Peter tended to be an “open-mouth-insert-foot” kind of guy (Matt. 16:22; 17:4-5). And on impulse he cut off an opponent’s ear (John 18:10). Even as a stallion must be harnessed to do its master’s bidding, so Peter had a lesson to teach us about the value of restraint. Jim Townsend