Wow has life been a bit of a whirlwind. It was only a couple weeks ago that I attended the IBD Social Circle Summit. It was an amazing, uplifting and inspiring experience. I got to meet IBD advocates that I follow and admire for their educating and bare honesty. I tweeted at a live IBD Round Table which was amazing! Then there was a day of focus groups with best care for the IBD community in mind. And the finest topper of all was the honor of attending the premier of Ryan Stevens’ documentary Swimming with Courage & Crohn’s. If you have not had the opportunity to view this documentary, please do.
About a year ago on Lake Erie Swim 4 IBD Day and into the night I remember sequestering myself away with my lap top to capture any type of update and follow Sara Ringer’s posts as Ryan captivated us all in his grueling super human battle across Lake Erie to raise awareness for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. #XErie4IBD. I sat there with my heart in my throat part cheering Ryan on, part nervous for his safety, a large part really proud. With that bystanders experience as reference I listened as panelists added further insight that served to paint a more vibrant picture of the days events. Ryan was already a beacon of hope within the community before the documentary. To see in stark detail was humbling, empowering, and powerful. The thoughtful preparation, determination, courage, and grit to do what Ryan did all to spread awareness about a disease and to give hope to others. WOW!
Zero dry eyes.
Janssen did a top job of reflecting truth onto film. Even more so, Janssen understood. You can’t make that kind of experience come alive if you stand separate from the cause. To see Ryan portrayed as the strong, raw, honest Crohn’s Disease fighter that he is, really mattered. IBD patients deserve that kind of dignity and respect. Janssen did that.
The next morning I hopped on over to the DDW and experienced its Gastro Health Mecca. A landscape of booths laid out as far as the eye can see, filled with people excited to tell you about their products.
All too soon it was time to head home.
Quite a wonderful adventure for sure. One that was a dream come true on multiple fronts.
The whirlwind picked up again as soon as I got home with child shenanigans, volunteerism, visiting relatives and home buying. Eek! We’re buying a home!
Here I sit typing to you; existing half in boxes. Tomorrow I work as a team with my Hubby to transport life and family to the next phase of our adventure with as little chaos as possible.
Hello my lovelies! I’m glad to be back so I can share all the good nuggets with you. I spent most of the first day back napping, recovering and just starting to get caught up with everyone. What an exciting whirl wind of IBD Family and all things new and better for the IBD community. I am super excited for the future and can’t wait to share my experiences with you. I had the best time at the #IBDSocialCircle and exploring #DDW convention. There are just so many cool things to fill you in on that I will be breaking it up into different posts. But I wanted to first off say a thank you to Janssen and Tonic for making this trip possible. From food we could eat to making sure we got to our events, staying up and visiting late into the night and every tiny thing in between; we felt cared for like out of town family.
I also want to assure you that I kept my fan girling to a minimum as to not scare away the super awesome advocates that surrounded me at every turn. You would be proud of the self control.
And because this event was held in Washington D. C. I got to explore some of our nations great historical treasures with my new Canadian friend Jen of Crohnic-Crohns. Such a sweet heart. You should really go check out her page.
*Disclaimer~ This snap shot was taken later in the Washington D.C. IBD Blogger Awesome Adventure. But it was the only photo I took of the Lovely Jen as I was living in the moment so much I didn’t capture as many images as I later wished I had.
**Note to self: Must take WAY more pictures next time!
So I’ve got exciting news. Thanks to Sara of Inflamed and Untamed for suggesting me, I am attending the IBD Social Circle Summit as part of Digestive Disease Week!
It’s like being handed a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
The IBD Social Circle Summit has been put on by Janssen Biotech. It’s a way for pharmaceutical, medical and patient advocates to get together to focus efforts towards awareness and education. These are the brains and souls that dedicate themselves to solve the ultimate IBD puzzle. And they do it with humor, accuracy and passion. I feel both thrilled as can be and out of my element in the most deliriously joyful way. Most of all so honored just to be able to attend.
Last year I watched in GI Fan Girl appreciation as some of my favorite in the IBD community got together to share their knowledge. It was hopeful as a patient to see the process in which minds of varying disciplines get together for a common goal.
I plan to document my experiences and share with you along the way. So follow my Crohnie Bologna IBD Facebook Page and Twitter @CrohnieBologna. You can also follow using the hashtag #DDW15. The schedule feels like a magical whirlwind of gastro health awesomeness. It begins with a web chat on Preparing for Procedures and Surgery and ends with the Documentary Premiere of Swimming with Courage and Crohn’s, chronicling Crohn’s patient Ryan Steven’s swim across Lake Erie in an effort to raise awareness for IBD.
In the spirit of full disclosure, Janssen Biotech, Inc. paid for my travel expenses for the summit. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Which is freeing. I can speak honestly and not feel as though I am there to endorse any company or product. I can just be myself which will likely include a contained amount of fan girling, geeking out at the uber smart gastros and most of all meeting people within my IBD family.