Remembering CCFA Co-Founder Suzanne Rosenthal

It is with a heavy heart that we share the very sad news of our co-founder Suzanne Rosenthal’s passing at the age of 78. Suzanne was a fearless, determined and courageous woman who turned her diagnosis of Crohn’s disease in 1955 into a legacy that has gone onto to help hundreds of thousands of people over the years.  She dedicated her life to spreading awareness about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, supporting and educating patients and funding research to find cures. In 1967, along with her husband, Irwin M. Rosenthal (pictured), William D. and Shelby Modell, and Henry D. Janowitz, MD, she founded the National Foundation of Iletis and Colitis, now known as the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. 

Suzanne held many key volunteer positions at CCFA.  She was a former president of the Greater New York Chapter and served as National Chairperson of the Board from 1987 to 1991.  She served as Chairperson Emeritus of CCFA's Government Affairs Task Force, and was a champion in all advocacy efforts of the foundation.  Suzanne received CCFA's distinguished Public Policy Pioneer Award for her tireless advocacy efforts on behalf of IBD patients everywhere.  The award was presented at CCFA's First National IBD Advocacy Conference, held in Washington, D.C. in June 2003.

Suzanne traveled throughout the country to visit many of CCFA's chapters and to help establish new chapters.  She made numerous media appearances to raise public awareness of these inflammatory bowel diseases. During her tenure as President of the Greater New York Chapter, she initiated the support group model that has since been implemented as CCFA's national network of support groups.

There are no words to clearly express our gratitude to Suzanne and all that she has done for the 1.4 million people who suffer from these diseases. Her legacy will live on and we will not stop until we find cures.  She will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathy to Suzanne’s family which includes her husband Irwin, daughters Karen Rosenthal and Robin Mehler, son-in-law David Mehler, grandchildren Jenna, Jack and Abby, brother Donald Sigman and sister-in-law Myrna. Suzanne asked that all donations in her honor be made to CCFA at