Fact Sheet--About the Foundation
About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation on mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), these painful, chronic illnesses affect approximately 1.6 million Americans, including some 140,000 children under the age of 18. The Foundation was founded in 1967.
- Crohn's disease is a painful, incurable illness that may inflame the small and large intestines and cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, weight loss, and numerous complications such as bowel obstruction and abscesses.
- Ulcerative colitis attacks the large intestine (colon), causing painful diarrhea, bleeding, and numerous complications, including colon cancer. While medications control most symptoms, the only cure is surgical removal of the colon.
- Most of those affected are young, including teenagers and young children. Approximately 20 percent of patients have another family member affected by the disease, and families frequently share a similar pattern of disease.
The Foundation is supported solely by individual, foundation, and corporate contributions.
- More than 81 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends goes directly into research and educational programs.
- The Foundation is among the top-rated charities in the American Institute of Philanthropy's Charity Rating Guide.
Since the Foundation's inception, approximately $200 million has been provided for researchers attempting to find the causes of, and cures for, IBD. Each year, more than 80 current and ongoing research grants are funded. More than 60 percent of our-sponsored researchers have obtained subsequent funding from the National Institutes of Health for further IBD research.
In 2001, NOD2, the first gene linked to Crohn's disease, was discovered. This breakthrough was funded in part by the Foundation's research grant. The Foundation's continues to accelerate the pace of IBD research by collaborating with top researchers and clinicians. Our-sponsored research, such as "Challenges in IBD Research," a series of top-priority initiatives, the DNA and Cell Line Bank, and the Clinical Alliance, is forging new collaborations and providing vital resources for investigators nationwide.
Education and Supportive Services
The Foundation provides educational programs for patients, physicians, and the public, including webcasts and live education seminars; 300 active support groups; chapter newsletters; a national magazine; informational brochures and books; an Information Resource Center accessible at 888.MY.GUT.PAIN and www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org; a scientific journal; professional medical forums; and research publications. The foundation distributes more than one million pieces of literature every year.
Toll-Free Information Hotline
For requests for free brochures about IBD as well as information about the Foundation, call 888.MY.GUT.PAIN.