Crohn's and Colitis Canada has awarded 10 scholarships to post-secondary students through the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program. The students, hailing from universities across the country, all strive to sustain an optimal level of wellness while living with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis and inspire others to do the same.
Canada has one of the highest rates of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the world as nearly a quarter of a million people live with either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, which are the two main forms of IBD. The autoimmune diseases cause the body to attack healthy tissue, leading to inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract. Common symptoms include severe abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, internal bleeding, and the unpredictable and urgent need to use the washroom.
"People are often diagnosed with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis in their late teens or early 20s, which can make the already challenging task of completing post-secondary education all the more stressful," said Mina Mawani, President and CEO, Crohn's and Colitis Canada. "Our scholarship recipients demonstrate their strength and resilience in overcoming these challenges on a daily basis. Crohn's and Colitis Canada is delighted to support our recipients and proud that they continue to support others living with these chronic diseases by being actively involved in their communities, all while striving towards their academic goals."
Since 2012, the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program has supported nearly 70 Canadian students in navigating post-secondary education while living with Crohn's or colitis by awarding scholarships that total in excess of $345,000. Scholarships of up to $5,000 are contributed towards each student's tuition.
"We are very proud of the impact that this longstanding program is having on the lives of post-secondary students," says Stéphane Lassignardie, General Manager of AbbVie Canada. "Attending school while dealing with the stress of managing Crohn's or colitis is a real challenge and it is critical to support and encourage these students."