Today kicks off Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week! The lead-up to this week has included my (very exciting!) feature on the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s website for general IBD awareness and for racial and ethnic minorities. I also had the honor of sharing my IBD story with reporters from various media outlets who attended the Foundation’s briefing this past week.
In discussing my story, I talked about the cultural impact of being a minority woman with Crohn’s Disease and a permanent ostomy. Being a different race, gender, sexuality and/or ethnicity adds a whole other layer of complexity to the IBD experience. I really wanted to bring to light how complicated our struggle really is. To name a few things, I discussed the following:
- The privacy concerns with regard to sharing our stories as minorities
- The clash between Eastern vs. Western medicine, including holistic practices and diet to treat IBD
- Straddling my South Asian heritage with my American upbringing: (1) Questioning my definition of success and (2) Understanding the value of humanism in my IBD experience.
Over the upcoming weeks, I will be sharing these aspects of my story with you all via blog posts, videos, Instagram live chats, etc., to bring greater awareness to the minority experience with IBD!
Please also mark your calendars for the following Awareness Week events as sponsored by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation!!!
December 1: General IBD & mental health
December 2: Men & IBD
December 3: Women & IBD
December 4: LGBTQ people & IBD
December 5: Minorities & IBD
December 6: Advocacy
December 7: Pediatric & Older Adults
- Facebook Chat: December 3, 8 p.m. EST about women & IBD with Dr. Anita Afzali (Ohio State University), Girls With Guts President Alicia Aiello, and Natalie Hayden
- Twitter Chat: December 4, 8 p.m. EST cohosted with Mental Health America discussing mental health & chronic illness. Participants include Dr. Tiffany Taft (Oak Park Behavioral Medicine), Aaron Blocker, and Keri Flaccomio
- Instagram Live: December 6, Minorities & IBD, Tina Aswani Omprakash & Shawn Bethea
Looking forward to celebrating Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week with you all!
~Love, light & peace always~