ImproveCareNow Patients


You have just met someone who also has IBD - you are not alone.

I remember feeling so alone in my illness. I was diagnosed with at age six and I grew up alone with this disease I was told I had and would never go away. I was surrounded by so many people but felt so peculiar because I was the only one with this disease. I always wondered to myself, “why doesn’t anyone else have this thing called Crohn’s disease?” and “why am I the only one with it?


IGNITE - Community and having a relationship with patients is important

Imagine being diagnosed with a chronic illness in the midst of a global pandemic and lockdown. How does a young person develop resilience and thrive when facing incredible health challenges in isolation? How can they connect with people who understand, who can normalize IBD and offer support and validation about experiences that are still very stigmatized? Not only was Hannah able to develop resilience (on her own terms) and thrive (in the face of difficult surgeries and complications), she also found a community in ICN and the PAC and has grown into an incredible patient advocate. In her #ICNCC23S Ignite Talk, Hannah shares the story of her diagnosis, what resilience and community mean to her, how asking questions and getting to know patients can open the doors to more inclusive and whole-body care.

Be inspired by Hannah's #IgniteTalk 🔥


My new irritable friend

In November of 2021, I was diagnosed with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. I had an uninvited, new irritable friend that became a part of my daily life, just like my IBD. Leading up to being diagnosed, I had been experiencing gut-wrenching belly pain, nausea with pain, and fluctuations between painful constipation and uncontrollable and very urgent soft stools. I knew something wasn’t right. I had experienced fluctuations of stool type from my IBD, but this time it was different. 


The impact a chronic illness has on someone's mental health is just as important as their physical health

Quote from ImproveCareNow Patient Advisory Council member Mikinzi "We may not knwo what hte purpose of this disease in your life is, but we do know that YOU have a purpose."

I'm 19 years old, and I have Crohn's disease. I was diagnosed in 2012 when I was eight years old. One interesting fact is that I know how to surf even though I'm from West Virginia. I struggle the most with not letting Crohn's consume my life.


The dreaded medications

Quote from ImproveCareNow Patient Advisory Council member Autumn, "As long as I can remember, I have been required to take numerous different medicines and to 'trial and error' different ones to find what works best for me."

I have been surrounded by medications and taking pills my whole life. Between being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at six years old and being diagnosed with IBS recently, with all the different medications I have to take every day and have had to try - feeling overwhelmed is an understatement!


Living with IBD and a feeding tube doesn't define you!

Quote about Feeding Tube Awareness. "Your feeding tube doesn't define who you are, it doesn't make you any less beautiful. You are still the same person you were before the feeding tube."

February 6-10, 2023 is Feeding Tube Awareness Week! I think it’s very clever to have something like this because it seems like most people are ashamed or feel insecure when having a feeding tube; it shouldn’t be like that. A feeding tube isn’t an embarrassing thing to have. We should be grateful to have such a thing when we need it, so we don’t get even more sick.


imPACt ep. 36 - IBD, the Gut Microbiome, and Nutrition with Dr. Suskind and Kim Braly, RD

imPACt Podcast episode description: Dr. David Suskind and Kim Braly, RD join Maddie from the Patient Advisory Council for a discussion about diet, nutrition, the gut microbiome, & how it relates to IBD"

Maddie is joined by pediatric gastroenterologist David Suskind, MD and IBD-specialized dietitian Kim Braly, RD for a podcast about diet, nutrition, the gut microbiome, and how it all relates to Inflammatory Bowel Disease.


Episode 35 of the imPACt podcast - Health Maintenance with Dr. Sabina Ali

ImPACt Podcase episode description: Shira and Becky are joined by Dr. Sabina Ali to talk about how keeping in regular contact with providers helps improve care.

The moral of the story in episode 35 of imPACt is: don't do what Becky did. 


Episode 34 of the imPACt podcast - Patient Engagement Guru, Sydney B

We've been getting to know ICN staff members through our imPACt ImproveCareNow network series (last time we talked with Chris Keck about why storytelling matters). In this episode, join Caitlyn, Vanessa and I (Fionna) for a chat with Sydney Bogardus who supported the PAC and the PFAC (Patient/Family Advisory Council) for several years before taking on another role in ICN.


Our top 10 blog posts of 2022

LOOP is an important place for our community to keep #TalkingAboutIBD. It’s a place where #StoriesMatter - where they connect us, build confidence, validate our experiences, remind us we are not alone, and motivate us to continue improving together.

So far, in 2022, 41 stories have been published by patients, caregivers, clinicians, collaborators, researchers, staff & leaders from across the ICN community sharing their unique perspectives on and experiences with IBD. Our top stories this year have covered a variety of topics, including: research on diet and fatigue, innovative IBD projects, new member introductions and top tips for newly-diagnosed patients, conversations about medical trauma, collaborating with IBD caregivers, and gratitude for leadership and learning together so we can all improve the health and care of people living with IBD.


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