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The #AerieREAL Campaign

As a young woman who has had an ostomy for nearly five years, I know the struggle of not feeling completely confident and beautiful. Ostomy or not, a majority of teenagers and young adults struggle with confidence and body image. That’s why I was so excited to see Aerie, a company that has a reputation for not touching up their photos and for representing women of all shapes, sizes, and skin colors, take their #AerieREAL campaign to the next level. In their latest set of images, Aerie is representing women with various disabilities and illnesses, including a beautiful woman with an insulin pump, a stunning woman in a wheelchair, a graceful woman with Down Syndrome, and many many more wonderful ladies.


PAC 2017 Year in Review

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As the Patient Advisory Council says hello to 2018, we want to take time to reflect on all we accomplished in 2017. From new members to new toolkits, retreats to a redesigned logo – we have so much to celebrate!


Frequently Asked Questions About the PAC

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The Patient Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of young (14 +), passionate and motivated patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (also known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD). Together, the PAC is a voice for all patients receiving care at ImproveCareNow Centers. PAC members contribute to research studies and the development of health care innovations; they share valuable experience and insights with healthcare professionals, researchers and others; and they raise awareness of IBD and ImproveCareNow. In this post, PAC members have answered questions they are frequently asked, about what the PAC is, how to connect patients with the PAC and how to support the PAC in reaching their goals. (If you’re a member of an ICN center – pay close attention to the last four questions & answers - they're directed at you!)


Top Ten LOOP Posts of 2017

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LOOP is making an impression on the IBD community! In 2017 LOOP was recognized twice as a top blog for Crohn’s disease – 19 of 100 by Feedspot and Top 10 by Medical News Today! This is a direct result of the variety and quality of stories and perspectives shared by so many members of the ImproveCareNow community!

In 2017, 50 posts were published by 36 ICN community members! And 18 people posted for the very first time during the year. Posts covered topics like: IBD research, new PAC member intros, ICN event updates, what I wish you knew, and many open & honest accounts of life with IBD.

We are thankful for each and every one of these stories. Here are the top 10, most viewed, LOOP posts of 2017!


 


4 Things I Learned as a High School Student with Crohn’s Disease

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Almost a month ago, my life as a high school student came to an end - no more waking up at 6am everyday, no more school dances, no more crowded hallways, and no more rules that as a person with Crohn’s disease were really hard to follow. Rules like “ask before you leave to use the restroom,” “no water bottles in class,” and “no food in the classroom,” all came to an end.

Rules aside, what did high school teach me, besides how to solve overly-complicated matrices and what taxes are?

I learned...


A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Younger Me,

I know you're scared and this past week in the hospital has not been all that great. All the tests and doctors are so new to you. The doctors said you have Crohn’s disease. It’s going to be okay, I promise.

I wish I could tell you these next few years will be easy, but they won't. You're going to go through some pretty tough stuff that many kids your age will have a hard time relating to. Most won't even understand it and that's okay.


Remission, I am coming for you

"Remission." – the word many living with a chronic illness hope to hear one day. Remission is such a wonderful time of less symptoms and less doctors, but as many of us know, remission doesn't always last forever.

Since being diagnosed with Crohn's disease eight years ago I have only been in remission once, for about a year and a half. It was like coming up for a breath of fresh air. I was being drowned by Crohn's. And while a year and a half totally seems like a long time, it really wasn't. In nearly the blink of an eye, I fell out of remission and began fighting the most brutal flare I have ever known.


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