The Scariest Thing of All

October 31, 2009 at 2:29 am | Posted in IBD Medical Facts | 3 Comments
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Halloween is a holiday of strange appeal. On this day we celebrate the things that we secretly dread and the fantastical terrors that haunt our dreams- the macabre dance of shadows from whistling wind-swept tree limbs, black-clad witches with crooked noses and masked men with shrill laughs and serrated fingernails. For many of us it’s a time to dress in mysterious costumes, impersonate the dead and embrace the night. For others, Halloween is a night to let loose and have fun behind a mask.

In all its many inceptions, Halloween remains a chance to be someone you aren’t. To do things you wouldn’t normally do.
Why are these pumpkins so smiley?

This idea got me thinking, what would people do if they could step outside of themselves and really be another person? What if you had the chance to really face your fears, and it wasn’t all part of some elaborate night of facades, or a scripted ploy built into the walls of a smoky haunted house with strobe lights and bowls of cherry-flavored blood punch?

Would you come out of it with a different outlook?

As you know from this blog, or if we’ve run into each other somewhere in Manhattan, I am running in December for children with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. This is a painful, debilitating disease. And for children it is terrifying. If you don’t know much about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and the effects they have on people, please take a moment and watch the video below from LiveStrong.com.

In this video, Dr. Susan L. McGladdery, the Regional Director from First Med Centers in Hungary, describes the symptoms and effects of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD).

Here are some key points to take away from this video, quoted from Dr. McGladdery-

Inflammatory bowel diseases, either Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, occur when “the linking of the digestive tract becomes inflamed… they’re very painful and debilitating and sometimes even life-threatening conditions.”

Both Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis can cause symptoms in the range of “pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bleeding, weight loss, and anemia.”

One last point that was even shocking to myself was the likelihood of IBD sufferers to develop cancer. This is an important thing to consider- we spend a lot time and resources fighting cancer, and it weighs a great deal on our nation’s healthcare system. So why not spend more time fighting conditions that likely cause cancers to form? Isn’t that the kind of preventative action should be taking in this country?

According to Dr. McGladdery, “both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease also increase your risk of colon cancer. Approximately 10% of patients with inflammatory bowel disease go on to develop a cancer, and the risk is greatest after inflammatory bowel disease has been present and active for 10 years.”

Do you want to do the math on 10% of the 1.2 million people with IBD?

Donate today, so a child doesn’t have to worry about those numbers.

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