ImproveCareNow Ulcerative_colitis


Athletes and IBD

Despite being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) in 2016, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t still be playing competitive basketball. In 2017 and 2018, my high school team traveled nationally and internationally to play, and it was an unforgettable experience. Basketball is a part of who I am. For someone who is just learning how to best manage IBD - I wanted to share my learning tools and hindsight as a competitive athlete. Do not give up who you are because of IBD - you will need to adjust and pay attention to your body, but you can continue to compete. There will be good days and bad days and that holds true for anything and everyone.


It was a journey of the senses...

My name is Heidi. I’m thrilled to share a bit of our journey…

When my husband & I traveled to India to adopt our kids, 15 plus years ago, it was a journey of senses: taste, smell, touch, sound, and sight. I have learned that parenting a child with a chronic illness is also a journey of the senses. When our 19-year-old son, Stephen, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis the summer before his junior year of high school, we had no way of knowing where that journey would take us.


I value my quality of life over my fear of an imperfect body

Hi! My name is Becca, and I’m a junior in the School of Nursing at UNC Chapel Hill. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age fifteen, and my life has been tremendously impacted by it. I hope to use all that I have learned from my own journey to change the lives of pediatric patients in my dream job as a nurse in an IBD center.


Learning to step back...

Hello! My name is Nour (means “light” in Arabic). I graduated from college, where I majored in Cognitive Science and minored in Communication. Since 2011, my diagnosis has changed a few times from Crohn’s disease to ulcerative colitis, and then back to Crohn’s disease. It has been quite a roller-coaster! There was nothing I wanted more than to be symptom free and respond positively to medication. It definitely required patience. To share one interesting fact about me…I have been graying since I was five years old! No, it did not all just suddenly happen in my 20’s! As for my age, I will give you a hint. I was born on the same day and year a historical event occurred in East and West Berlin.


What I would have told my newly-diagnosed self

After suffering for months (including losing 20 pounds, requiring blood transfusions, missing junior prom because I was in the hospital…) I was told I have ulcerative colitis, a disease with no cure, and that I would need medication for life. Hearing this traumatizing news, I knew my life would be changed forever. I thought I would never recover, and the sickness would continue. I did not know anyone else that had IBD, and I felt alone.

Looking back on my sickest times, I can see very clearly that the one thing I wished I had was someone else with IBD who I could talk to...someone I could relate to and who could understand what it’s like.


Becoming a Responsible Young Adult

I’m Fionna and I am 18 years old. I am a freshman in college, thinking about studying engineering, but haven’t decided yet...so that may change! I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was five and primary sclerosing cholangitis (liver complication) when I was seven.

Last year I started fencing at school. I love it! Sabre is my favorite.


My story with ulcerative colitis

I stumbled upon ImproveCareNow (ICN) by chance. A predecessor to the network, the C3N Project, had been mentioned in passing during assigned reading for one of my university courses. Naturally, as someone with ulcerative colitis (UC) I was intrigued. Though at the time I was busy with essays, a dissertation and job applications so C3N fell to the back of my mind.  


New Resource: PAC Accommodations Toolkit

As co-chair of the Patient Advisory Council (PAC) Advocacy task force, I am excited to announce our new Accommodations Toolkit! Becky and I (with lots of support from the entire PAC and ICN social workers) developed this toolkit as a resource to help patients, parents and providers better understand and navigate the accommodations process.


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. 


PAC Body Image Toolkit

Body image is a topic that Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients don’t often talk about due to the embarrassment and fear associated with opening up about their experiences with their Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like you have no control over how your body works or looks, especially given all the messages we receive from the media about how a body ‘should’ look and behave. We wanted to create the Body Image Toolkit as a way to express our experiences, provide tips, and start conversations about body image & IBD. It’s important to know that we’re not alone in our feelings, and that there are so many people who understand what we’re going through! 


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