ImproveCareNow Parents


What We Learned at the Fall Community Conference, and What We're Doing Now

Thanks to the generosity of the ImproveCareNow community, and the hard work and dedication of our parent and patient partners, 30 members of the Parent Working Group and Patient Advisory Council joined us at the Fall 2018 Community Conference in Chicago. It’s been two months since we returned to our respective communities, and some parent and patient partners wanted to share their reflections on what they learned while at the conference and how they are using this at their local center to improve care.


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.


Perspectives

Have you ever taken one of those silly photos that attempts to distort your perception of a landmark or scene? For example, you might make it look like someone is holding the Eiffel Tower by its point or a friend is standing in the palm of your hand. Those photos are all about your point of view or your perspective. Perspective affects a lot of things. Perspective can affect your focus, opinion and even your advice. Recently, as I attend my first ICN Community Conference, the concept of perspective was with me throughout.


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. 


What are Engagement trainings?

ImproveCareNow Community Engagement Learning Series (CELS) trainings were designed by patients, parents, clinicians, and ImproveCareNow staff to share best practices and new skills. Whether you are just getting started or have an established team, you will get something out of these trainings. Each session presents new skills, and provides a chance to work with others to plan how to implement what you learned at your center. Each CELS training is designed to empower you to connect more patients and parents to your team, to build relationships, develop leaders, and share information that improves lives.


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.


Moving Mountains

Prior to this year, I really didn’t understand what Crohn’s disease or IBD was. For about a month, I had been telling friends and family that my daughter was having stomach issues, and they would usually reply: “oh it’s probably just a virus; I’m sure it’s nothing serious.” Then on January 16, everything changed. My daughter, who is 13 and in 8th grade, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.


Parent and Caregiver Self-Care Tips

Deb_K_-_Self-Care_Tips_3.png

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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