Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Adds Live Chat Series to Online Community



December 17, 2012

For immediate release

Media contact:
Lenora Houseworth
communications@ccfa.org
646-943-7415

New York, NY -- December 15, 2012 -- The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) announces the launch of an online support group program on its Online Community website. Developed to meet the various needs of the 1.4 million Americans suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), the new online support group program directly connects people with these chronic digestive diseases facing similar challenges in a live-chat format.

"We are thrilled to add this new interactive feature to our Community website," says Kimberly Frederick, Senior Vice President of Mission for the Foundation. "Our goal is to help patients create intimate communities that provide a safe place to open up about their diseases, and help each other cope with their condition."

This four-week series consists of weekly 90-minute chat sessions that cover specific IBD-related topics and allow participants to share their experiences managing Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and learn from one another. The program aims to fill a void for patients who do not have access to in-person support group meetings.

Key features of the CCFA Online Support Group include:

  • Each session will cover a specific topic, from understanding the basics of IBD to living well with IBD;
  • CCFA moderators who guide participants through a comprehensive conversation about living with IBD;
  • Repeat monthly offerings of the program;
  • Each support group is limited to 25 registrants to ensure a sense of community.

Find out more about the online support group program or register for an upcoming session.

Since its initial launch in March 2008, over 14,000 people have joined CCFA's online peer support community and tens of thousands of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients and caregivers of all ages from around the world frequently visit the site to obtain the vital peer support and education they need in managing these painful and, at times, debilitating digestive diseases. The Foundation advises users to always check with their personal physician before taking any action regarding their health.

This valuable resource was made possible through an educational grant from Abbott.

About Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere along the digestive tract, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, fatigue, and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35.

CCFA Community

The CCFA Online Community provides a platform for patients and caregivers to connect with one another and get support in managing IBD through discussion forums and personal stories. The site also provides users with interactive learning opportunities and useful management tools, including a customized educational navigator to locate information and the opportunity to submit questions to a panel of IBD experts.

About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit www.ccfa.org, call 888-694-8872, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.


Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, with more than 80 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends going to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance (give.org) and the American Institute of Philanthropy (charitywatch.org).