Learn how Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is advancing the understanding and support for people with inflammatory bowel disease.
In Canada, 300,000 people live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis — chronic forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with no known cure. Canada has one of the highest rates in the world, with one person diagnosed every hour. Managing IBD can be a long struggle, with many people spending years trying to find stability to control their debilitating symptoms through a variety of treatments. Losing stability can mean an IBD flare-up, the onset of crippling symptoms, hospitalization, complications, and more.
Crohn’s and colitis are sometimes referred to as “invisible diseases” since they may not be obvious from a person’s appearance. As a result, speaking about symptoms like stomach pain or bloody diarrhea can be difficult. Yet the numbers are significant: one in 140 Canadians is diagnosed with IBD, and many young adults get diagnosed in their late teens or early 20s.
That was the situation for Adam Scully who learned he had Crohn’s disease just before his 18th birthday. The diagnosis in 2010 explained the excruciating pain radiating from his small intestine and into his esophagus. “It was as if somebody stabbed me in the middle of my chest, I couldn’t move,” explains Scully, now 30.
While medications help many people cope with and manage devastating symptoms, that wasn’t the case initially for Scully. He went through several treatments without success. At his lowest point, with his condition worsening, he remembers howling in pain during a colonoscopy.
Stability for people living with IBD is hard-earned, and ensuring management and control of debilitating disease symptoms is paramount. In consultation with his gastroenterologist, a biologic treatment helped Scully regain stability in his life. Two decades later, this biologic continues to manage the debilitating symptoms that come with IBD.
Scully, along with sister Sarah (who lives with ulcerative colitis), and the family volunteer for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada to help others affected by IBD. Scully was 2022’s Toronto honorary chair of the annual Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Gutsy Walk, the largest fundraising campaign for the national charity dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians affected by these chronic diseases and finding cures. The family, dubbed Team A.S.S., has collectively raised over $330,000 for the charity.
To create awareness and offer support for others, Scully shares his story as an advocate for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
There are many questions and challenges when you’re affected by a chronic disease. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada offers resources, programs, and a community of support across Canada. Find out how you can get involved at crohnsandcolitis.ca.
Gutsy Walk, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s largest annual fundraiser, brings the IBD community together from across Canada. Gutsy Walk is a fun-filled, family-friendly, and non-competitive day to walk in support of those impacted by Crohn’s and colitis. Every June, thousands of people walk to raise funds for research and programs to support everyone affected by IBD. Donate today at gutsywalk.ca.