(I want to apologize for being so late in getting this information up. I had planned to do so early last week, but you know how it goes sometimes.)
Ulcerative Colitis is estimated to affect close to half a million people in the United States. No small number considering many people don't know what it is. Ulcerative Colitis is the inflammation of the inner lining of the colon and rectum. A flare-up is where the colon and/or rectum become inflamed and cause symptoms such as such as diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and an urgent need to go to the bathroom. UC is a life-long condition of which the causes are unknown. It can affect people of all ages but is generally diagnosed in early adulthood. There is currently no known cure for UC with the exception of removing the colon. Thankfully there are foundations such as the Chrohn's & Colitis Foundation Of America who are researching and working diligently to find a cure.
The Celebrating UC Success Program spokesperson is a man named Josh Reineke who, through adjustments to his lifestyle, treatments, and working with his doctor, has learned to control his UC and enjoy life to the fullest. Not only is he controlling UC, he's also a father, grad student,working full time, and competes in triathlons. Amazing and inspirational! You can read more about him at his blog: http://vitaeeuphoros.blogspot.com/
Do you, or someone you know, live with Ulcerative Colitis as Josh does? If so, the Celebrating UC Success program wants to hear from you. From their website:
Celebrating UC Success is a program developed to recognize individuals who have learned to cope with their Ulcerative Colitis (UC) or have helped others with UC live life to the fullest. We would like to invite you and anyone you know who has an UC success story to participate in the program essay contest. If you're a patient or a friend, family member or healthcare provider of someone with UC, and have an inspirational story to tell, please share it with us.
Here are the offical rules and here is where you can get your online application.
Here's what you can win:
Each individual who submits an essay will receive the following: A certificate of appreciation to recognize his/her achievements and inspiration to the UC community; a copy of Comfort Zones, a book printed by P&G, which highlights the nicest bathrooms in 15 cities around the country; and a one-year membership to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (approx. retail value $30 each), which allows members to receive discounts on the Foundation books and special programs, free participation in group support services through the Foundation and invitations to educational and fundraising events.
In addition to the prizes mentioned above, all 20 semifinalists will receive a $50 gift card to the Foundation's online store. Limit one semifinalist prize per person.
The contest winners will receive a 3-day/2-night trip for two to the Foundation's national advocacy conference "IBD Day on the Hill" held in Washington, D.C. in May 2008. The winners will receive round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations and $250 spending money.
Your entry should be 200 words or less and must be received by 10:00 pm EST on March 14, 2008. If you want to get in on this you'd better act fast because time is running out. Good Luck!