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I've begun experiencing more of life

Hi! My name is Laurel and I am a 20-year-old college student, majoring in Human Biology. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2012 and have been on biologic infusions ever since. One thing many people don't know about me is I absolutely love insects and am minoring in entomology!

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What I Need, When It’s Needed – Prioritizing What Our Community Wants and Needs

In February 2019, the ImproveCareNow Engagement Team surveyed CIRCLE community members to identify information, knowledge & know-how that could benefit others living with IBD and their families/caregivers. Specifically, we hoped to uncover resources and methods of sharing that would help us identify gaps in resources and information ImproveCareNow currently provides to the IBD community.

Seventy people took our survey, including patients with IBD and their parents/caregivers. We learned a great deal through our analysis of the survey results. At a high level, we were able to identify four key areas of need:

  • parents and patients want information and resources surrounding different facets of IBD, including:
    • general disease information
    • information on treatment
    • resources for helping them manage IBD
  • respondents want information and resources to support psychosocial health, including:
    • to promote emotional wellbeing
    • access to patient and caregiver support groups
  • respondents expressed difficulty with insurance coverage and financial issues
  • respondents shared diverse preferences for how and where they receive information

Below we will dive more deeply into the area of “Information and resources surrounding different facets of IBD.” Where possible, we will link directly to useful resources that may help address some of the specific needs expressed through the survey. We know there is more work to do, and this is the start of identifying resources that can help our community. If you know of any resources that address these topics, please contact us so we can share seamlessly.

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Never stop sharing your story!

Recently, I sent my Grandfather from out of town a surprise package. I took the time to search through all of the wonderful LOOP posts made by PAC members and pulled out all the posts I have written. I compiled them into a word document and attached the pictures as well. I made the font decently big and separated each article to make it easy to read. I printed a copy, wrote my Grandpa a note and sent the package on its way to Pennsylvania.

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Crohn's disease and my camping merit badge

My name is Benjamin and I am a rising senior in high school. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when I was 10 and a half. Since then, I have found joy in art, Boy Scouts, numerous sports, and theatre.

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Keep Talking About IBD

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 💚💙

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FAQ about the Shared Decision Making Toolkit for IBD Surgery

At April’s Live Online Community Conference (LOCC), Dayton Children’s introduced the Should I have IBD surgery? shared decision-making webtool and Dear Ostomy video. These resources are key components of an IBD Surgery Shared Decision-Making Toolkit that the Dayton team created using an ImproveCareNow (ICN) Innovation Fund award, made possible with support from the Clare Foundation. The toolkit generated a lot of excitement and questions, so project leaders, Dr. Kelly Sandberg and parent Shellie Doub took some time to answer to the most frequently asked questions.

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IGNITE - This community has shaped me deeply.

From her home office, Catalina spoke clearly and with great conviction, delivering her narrative directly to…her computer screen. Many of us have become accustomed to hearing Ignite Talks delivered to a packed plenary room at our in-person Community Conferences – and the effect these personal stories have is often palpable. Though it was not the original plan, Cat’s words flowed from her location in North Carolina across hundreds and even thousands of miles, reaching ImproveCareNow community members as they joined our first-ever Live Online Community Conference from their homes and offices. While the distance between was indeed great – Cat’s words drew us in close and (as Ignite Talks tend to do) reignited the passion we all feel for the work of ImproveCareNow - of improving health and care for kids with IBD. And from across the miles, the effect of Cat's words were still palpable:

“Incredible Cat!! Words do not do justice to what you are conveying to all of us - the village of ICN!”

“Inspiring for us all! Makes you want to try even harder!”

“You are incredible Cat!!! Your strength and advocacy is inspiring!!! THANK YOU!!!”

“I'M CRYING”

“You remind us why it is so worth it to keep fighting and working. Thank you!”

“Cat gives me chills.”

*stands up and claps*

“Really beautiful. As a caregiver, I feel your passion and share your sense of purpose. Very well done.”

Experience Cat’s Ignite Talk:

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Communities are resilient.

I was delighted to have time to join the ImproveCareNow Live Online Community Conference earlier this month, about 1.5 years after leaving my role as Improvement Director. What a delight to watch this group of improvers rise to the occasion as never before, bringing hundreds of people across the globe together under challenging circumstances, all while understandably mourning the ability to be together in person as planned.

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Coronavirus Perspectives: Every day I make lists of things I want to do

We believe everyone’s story matters and is important and can change someone else’s story. In the midst of the current global coronavirus pandemic it feels more important than ever to share our stories, experiences, knowledge and know-how widely, to stay connected virtually and to continue reminding each other - we are not alone!

Thanks for sharing your perspective, Jen!

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