Foundation Receives $1 Million Donation from the Wilbur May Foundation to Advance Pediatric IBD Research and Programs
Published: January 30, 2024
Contact: Rachel Peifer
NEW YORK- January 30, 2024- The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has received a $1 million donation from the Wilbur May Foundation, an organization dedicated to the welfare of youth in the greater San Diego region and nationwide.
This donation will support pediatric programs aimed at helping children and teenagers living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions affect nearly 1 in 100 Americans.
When IBD is diagnosed in childhood, it can often be more severe and have a more extensive impact than when diagnosed in adulthood. Children with IBD may experience delayed puberty and growth issues, and some may also develop behavioral or mental health disorders like anxiety and ADD/ADHD.
"We are immensely grateful for the Wilbur May Foundation's support, which enables us to drive pediatric research and programs that benefit our youngest and most vulnerable patients," said Michael Osso, President & CEO of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. "This contribution empowers us to provide life-changing support and education to pediatric patients, while tackling vital questions like predicting children's responses to treatments and identifying factors that foresee disease recurrence post-surgery.”
Osso emphasized that while the incidence of IBD in children is on the rise, much of the medical care provided to them is based on findings from studies involving adults. Recognizing the distinct needs of pediatric IBD patients, the Foundation is committed to driving research that can make a meaningful impact on children and teenagers suffering from IBD.
The Foundation's pediatric research initiatives include a precision nutrition program studying the direct impact of food on IBD management, as well as a study on early-life stress and its effects on disease outcomes. Additionally, the Foundation is spearheading a groundbreaking multi-center, longitudinal study that will collect and track clinical data from adolescent patients to advance precision medicine in pediatric IBD.
In addition to research, the Foundation provides vital support and educational resources for pediatric IBD patients. This includes programs like Camp Oasis, a summer camp offering a supportive community for children, as well as nationwide in-person and online support groups and web resources tailored to different age groups.
“Our family was brought up to think if you can give, you must give,” said Kathy May, Vice President, Wilbur May Foundation. “We, as a family, cannot think of a better organization to give to, to help the many children who are suffering from these diseases.”