A Patient's Journey to Being Diagnosed with IBD to Becoming an Empowered Advocate for Crohn's & Colitis Canada, with Crystal McAfee
“You can’t be physically well, if you’re not mentally well.” – Crystal McAfee
In this week’s episode, I am joined by Crystal McAfee, a Crohn’s warrior and advocate for the inflammatory bowel disease community. In addition to her work with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, Crystal established the GutsyStrong community.
GutsyStrong is dedicated to raising awareness for and decreasing the stigma surrounding IBD. Through sharing stories, educational content, advocacy and awareness campaigns, GutsyStrong celebrates the IBD community and inspires all members to be unstoppable. We discuss Crystal’s nine-year road to being diagnosed with IBD and how she has since managed her chronic illness, as well as help others through their own journeys.
Tune in to today’s episode to learn:
- How she found her community of support for inflammatory bowel disease
- Her six steps to living a healthy life and managing her IBD
- The moment that changed her life, gave her hope, and made her decide to volunteer with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
- The mental aspect of being diagnosed with a chronic illness
- How to be a better provider from a patient’s perspective
Grab your drink of choice and join the conversation!
Crystal’s Instagram: @gutsystrong
This free app was created by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. The GoHere initiative partnered with businesses and government buildings to identify accessible washrooms across Canada. This app is a wonderful tool for travelers. Simply input your destination and the app will display accessible washrooms along your route. It also provides a digital Washroom Access Card to quickly explain the medical need to access washrooms.
More information is available on www.GoHere.ca
Crohn’s and Colitis Initiatives
Crohns and Colitis’s advocates against the non-medical switch to biosimilar drugs in the treatment of IBD. The government of Ontario is planning to switch IBD patients onto biosimilar drugs without physician consultation. While we are not opposed to the use of biosimilars for new patients, switching the medication of a patient stable on a biologic can cause a disruption in the patients health. Research has demonstrated more than 1 in 2 people with IBD have experienced changes in their health after being switched to a different medication. Given that our healthcare system is under immense pressure due to the pandemic, we do not feel this is the time to be switching patients to a biosimilar drug and placing additional stress on the health care system.
Ontarians who support us can add their name to an online petition against the biosimilar switch here:
Ontarians who believe patient-doctor choice matters and would like to participate in our letter-writing campaign, can enter their name, email address and postal code into the form below. A letter will be generated and sent to the participants local MPP to indicate they are opposed to the non-medical switch.
Connect with Jennifer George:
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Click here to check out my book about connecting and communicating with patients to empower their experiences!