The Creative Brain Helping Other Patients 'Escape the Stall'

Strategist and Patient Gives Insight into Award-Winning Campaign

 


Kalina working on CCFA's PSA,
sporting a moustache in support of "Movember"

At age 33, Brian Kalina was in the midst of just about every major life event you can imagine-a new house, a new job, and a baby on the way-when he began having reoccurring IBD pains.  What he thought were the effects of stress was actually severe ulcerative colitis. 


“I was actually diagnosed the day before my son was born,” said Kalina. “So I remember the day exactly.”


Before then, Kalina had been experiencing significant pain for some time, and he immediately knew something was wrong.  It wasn’t long before his doctor confirmed his colitis diagnosis in August 2007. “There was a tiny bit of relief because I knew what was going on. Then I was told I would have this forever, and I was pretty upset,” he said. “I discovered pretty early that a better way of dealing with it was to be open and honest.”  

With that spirit, it was only natural for Kalina, VP and ACD /copywriter at leading ad agency Draftfcb, to volunteer his talents to help create CCFA’s “Escape the Stall”  PSA campaign. “It’s not often that we get to do a lot of public service. So when those projects come across our desks, everyone gets excited. It was very exciting for me to talk about it.”


As a copywriter and strategist of the campaign, he utilized his personal experience with IBD to help conceptualize a campaign he said will not only help patients, but their caregivers and families as well. “What I loved about this project is that it was about awareness, but more why it is important to make people aware. It was also meant to help other people look out for the signs of the diseases. The point is to help the person suffering alone in the stall. It was more so saying, ‘Here is the problem; let’s solve this together.’  It was great to share my experience."

Kalina makes it clear that it was the entire team of strategists and creatives, volunteering their time pro-bono, who really brought his ideas to life, and he is enthusiastic about the next phase of the campaign. “I can see it going a lot of different directions. The first step we had to identify your loved one that has been diagnosed and now the second step is getting them the tools they need.  It’s not enough to just to make people aware. It is important to let people know the signs and how you can deal with it.”  


Someone you know may be suffering from IBD. You can help them when you visit: http://www.ccfa.org/escapethestall/ .