ImproveCareNow Parent_partners


A parent partner has incredibly enriched care at my center

Having a parent partner has incredibly enriched the care that our Pediatric Gastroenterology department provides to our patients and their families. It brings a fresh and enthusiastic perspective to our group meetings and has provided valuable feedback for our IBD informational packet that will be given to families.



Illness and inspiration

My name is Steve Woolf and I come from a family of five in Fairfax, Virginia, including a daughter in college and two 17-year-old twins, one of whom is Becky. Becky was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age seven, although we believe she was symptomatic before then.


I'm the parent partner

My name is Kathy Rygg, and I’m the parent partner at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha in Nebraska. My son, who is now 11, started having symptoms at two but wasn’t diagnosed with ulcerative colitis until age five. 


Collaboration. Connections. Community.

These three words (collaboration, connections, community) come to my mind when I think of ImproveCareNow (ICN). And they represent three reasons I love leading our Family Advisory Council and sharing ICN with the families of Dayton Children’s. These are my people. They understand my life. They, too, know what it’s like to parent a child with IBD.

It is for all of these reasons that I am thrilled to host Virtual Community Conference (VCC) Watch Parties – so we can collaborate, connect and feel like we’re part of a community.


Honored to Serve

My name is Missy and I am a new member of the ImproveCareNow Board of Directors. When my son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in the fall of 2016, one of the handouts I received from our care team at Nemours Jacksonville was a flyer about ImproveCareNow (ICN). That night I signed up for the Parent Working Group and the ICN newsletter.


Hi, I'm Pam

I’m Pam, and I’m a member of the ICN Parent Working Group (PWG). My husband Kraig and I have three teenagers, and I became involved in ICN soon after our oldest son was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. He first started having symptoms in the fall of 2015 and was diagnosed in March 2016.


Finding Hope

My name is Maria and I live in Orlando, FL. In 2004, our family received the devastating news that our oldest daughter had Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. I would have never imagined that a few years later in 2013, we would find ourselves confronted with yet another life altering diagnosis. 


A Journey to Sustain Remission

My son was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2014, at the age of 13. Fast forward to 2018, and I am thrilled that he is in remission and a thriving 11th grader juggling AP classes, SATs, extra-curricular activities, college tours, and yes, medication adherence. However, I’m also here to tell you, it has been a journey to achieve and sustain remission. Like so many of you, my mind raced with a litany of questions for days, weeks, and months after his diagnosis…IBD? Ulcerative colitis? What? No cure? How did my son get this? Next, guilt set in and then more questions…Why had I not heard about IBD before his diagnosis? Is this genetic? Was it the foods I prepared? Could I have prevented it? I was so distraught. I could not fix this, not this time.


Parent and Caregiver Self-Care Tips

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I am a parent of three children, and all three have Crohn’s disease. My oldest was diagnosed in 2010 and my younger two were both diagnosed at the same time, in 2013. As a parent of one child, let alone three children with IBD, I found life overwhelming, stressful, and mentally and physically draining. Personally, I have found self-care to be a critical piece in coping with the initial diagnosis and the on-going treatment and care of my children. I will be the first to admit I struggle with self-care at times, but at least I have a list:


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