We believe in the power of storytelling to connect us, help us all teach and all learn, and to remind us we are not alone. We want to encourage you - whether you have experience with IBD already or are learning about it for the first time - to take a moment and experience life with these chronic illnesses through the stories of five of our community members 💚💙

Ulcerative colitis and my relationship with food – Leela Maitra

Until recently, I never had the experience of talking to people who have been through what I have. It makes me feel more confident knowing that I'm not the only one struggling and there are other people like me.

Meet Leela and read her story about receiving an ulcerative colitis diagnosis as a high school sophomore, her ostomy and j-pouch surgeries, and how her family has made big changes to the way they eat together.

My diagnosis experience taught me it’s OK to seek help from others – Jake Tipper

Being newly diagnosed with my disease, I don't really know much about Crohn’s, so when I heard there was a network of people my age answering questions, I was eager to join. I believe that the PAC and ImproveCareNow’s research will answer my questions and then some.

Meet Jake and read his story about the long road to diagnosis, how he decided to run a marathon, and how he believes networks like ICN can raise awareness about Crohn's disease.

My Biggest Struggle is Dealing with an Invisible Disease – Allison Lake

My biggest struggle is dealing with an invisible disease while my peers have no idea what I'm feeling. When I am in any sort of pain, my mood changes and I do not act like myself, but people around me are still not aware of what I’m going through. This makes it hard for me to be my usual happy, energetic self.

Meet Allison and read her story about learning how to talk openly about how Crohn's is affecting her so her friends can understand what she's experiencing.

The way an illness manifests itself varies greatly from person to person. No two people have the exact same set of life experiences.

Meet Natalie and read her reflection on the importance of considering the patient experience, both in trying to understand all we can about IBD, but also in learning what we are capable of.

I decided it was time to own my disease – Talia Raimo

I'm thankful that organizations like ImproveCareNow and the PAC exist because they help put an end to the isolation that IBD can cause. They help people connect with each other. Knowing the struggles of others facing similar battles as I have faced gives me strength.

Meet Talia and read her story about life with ulcerative colitis and her shift from hopelessness to regaining control and appreciating the little things in life.

Get in the LOOP with more stories of Talking About IBD - our community members have generously contributed over 100! Then, let’s keep talking about IBD - on World IBD Day and Every Day - share even more stories, connect even more people and raise even more awareness about illnesses that go largely unseen and for which there is currently no cure.

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