Through my research I was surprised to discover that many “IBDers” are young, like very young, under the age of 18. According to CCFA.org, approximately 1.4 million Americans have either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. That number is almost evenly split between the two conditions, and one in ten IBD patients are under the age of 18.
I’ll admit having an Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be somewhat embarrassing. Even what IBD stands for might make people chuckle and I’m okay with that, but I am 28. Can you imagine being a teenager and always having gas, the fear of having an accident, or just having people laugh in your face when you explain what IBD stands for? I couldn’t imagine . . . but luckily they are not alone. Camp Oasis that was established 10 years ago by the CCFA, is a summer camp for children that suffer from an IBD. This co-ed residential summer camp program enriches the lives of children with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by providing them with a safe and supportive camp community. For more information please visit http://www.ccfa.org/get-involved/camp-oasis/ and check out the video below.
Another great outlet for young IBDers is the website, “Me and IBD” http://www.meandibd.org/ by Crohn’s and Colitis UK. it’s an online community that provides support for young adults on how to deal with image, friendships, relationships, and many other issues they might face living with an IBD. Check out her story below.
After reading stories of young people with an IBD and how they cope daily with this disease, I can only be positive. Remaining hopeful 🙂