ImproveCareNow Patients


What I Need, When It’s Needed – Communication and information seeking preferences of parents and patients are highly varied

As we have shared in previous #WINWIN posts, the ICN Engagement Team is committed to gathering and effectively sharing information, knowledge and know-how that may help patients with IBD and their families. In a 2019 survey the Engagement Team asked the ICN Community to share how they prefer to connect, find and receive information. Their responses are helping us learn how to get the right information to the right people at the right time on their IBD journey. In this post we are sharing feedback related to communication and information seeking preferences of patients and patients.

This is a work in progress. Our ultimate goal is to get the right information, to the right people, at the right times and using a method that works for them. We want patients and families to have what they need, when the need it! If you have thoughts to share on these topics, please contact us so we can learn from you!


Innovation Update – IV Sweatshirt prototype is comfortable and efficient

Ella and I want to thank you all for your incredible response to our first blog post where we introduced the IV Sweatshirt Project! If you haven’t read our story yet, we encourage you to start there – in it we share about Ella’s diagnosis with Crohn’s disease, our journey to find a treatment that worked for her, and how her experience ultimately led us to create something together to help kids like her stay warm and comfortable while getting infusions.

After a few trials and some delays due to COVID-19, we are excited to share that we have received a solid prototype of our IV sweatshirt design and have been able to test it at our infusion center!


I’m not sure it’s Crohn’s yet, but I’m building a strong support center within myself

I'm Lexi - a rising high school senior. In December 2019, I was having severe nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The doctor at Urgent Care thought my gallbladder was the cause of my pain and suggested I go to the emergency room immediately to have it removed. At the ER, after many tests, they determined it was not my gallbladder but could not figure out the cause of my pain. I was referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist.


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!


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.


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.


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 💚💙


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:


Ulcerative colitis and my relationship with food

My name is Leela, I’m in high school. My diagnosis with ulcerative colitis was a little chaotic. I didn't tell anyone that I was bleeding for about six months, so by the time the issue was brought up, I was severely anemic. I was officially diagnosed with UC the fall of my sophomore year (a little over a year ago). After having no success with medications, I went through surgery for an ostomy April 8, 2019, with the plan of ultimately getting a j-pouch. I lived with an ostomy bag for seven months, and have since undergone two more surgeries, my final one in November 2019, to have my ostomy reversed.


Coronavirus Perspectives: Art & music are how I’m coping

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 to PAC (Patient Advisory Council) member, Quint for sharing his perspective!


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