According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, more than 9,200 Canadians are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)’which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis’every year. One of those Canadians is Fernando Pisani, right-winger for the Edmonton Oilers.
"Hockey players often take their health for granted," Pisani wrote, in a piece talking about his experience with IBD. "That all changed for me in 2005 when I started feeling sick. I knew something was wrong with me, but I was kind of embarrassed to see somebody about it." Pisani was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2007 and was forced to take a break from his hockey career while undergoing treatment.
Today, the medical community and those with IBD from around the world are launching the first “World IBD Day,” in an effort to bring more awareness to the disease, which affects approximately five million people worldwide. IBD impacts the digestive system by causing intestinal tissue to become inflamed and can lead to chronic abdominal pain and intestinal bleeding, among other symptoms. The cause of IBD is not known, and there is currently no cure.
"World IBD Day is a great symbol for what we can achieve in a broader, global context," said Marco Greco, chairman of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations, in a news release.
To learn more about World IBD Day and sign the Crohn’s and Colitis Declaration, visit isupportibd.ca.