What I wish I knew — Patient Symposium for Crohn’s & Colitis

From: Elizabeth (Mom of Three)

What I Wish I Knew

In 2009, when our youngest child was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis at age six, our family didn’t know what lay ahead. Aaron and Elizabeth OrgelThat first year, our son missed more than half of the school year. We tried many medications, endured countless hospitalizations and were overwhelmed by the unknown. That first year, we also got involved with the Foundation's Take Steps Walk for Crohn’s & Colitis. This one-mile walk was a huge accomplishment for our family. We were motivated to walk even though our son didn’t have the physical strength or endurance to walk that mile-long route, and we ended up carrying him most of the way. Despite this, the cheers from fellow walkers were inspirational. That blanket of support was something we’d never experienced. Four years later after our youngest son's diagnosis amidst our struggles, our oldest child was also diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Again, we were scared, overwhelmed and hungry for good information. With so many unanswered questions about these chronic diseases, we wanted answers.
The Boston Patient Symposium does just that. And on April 1, 2023, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is hosting its annual Patient and Caregiver Symposium. The Symposium provides an opportunity to hear directly from dedicated physicians and researchers about amazing scientific breakthrough initiatives that the Foundation supports. Questions are answered, relevant and new information is shared. There are also panels with fellow disease impacted patients who share their stories. The Symposium helped our family in our decision making abilities to provide the best care possible for our children, in hopes of ensuring they Aaron Orgel can live their best lives.


Because of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, we’ve found community. There is hope with this Foundation. There is support with this Foundation. There is innovative research, advocacy and awareness with this Foundation. There are also incredible events including a fun and supportive week-long overnight camp for kids. Our youngest son attended this camp for three summers and it was a game-changer. Today, we are grateful that both of our sons are thriving. 
I strongly encourage you to attend the Boston Patient and Caregiver Symposium on Saturday, April 1 at the Boston Sheraton Needham Hotel from 9:00AM - 2:00PM. These diseases are messy and the path to wellness is bumpy. The Symposium will help you navigate inflammatory bowel disease, answer the many questions you probably have, and know what questions to ask.  For more information, click on the below link to see the full agenda and register. And of course, if you need any support or other resources, please reach out. We hope to see you there.
In best health,



Elizabeth Orgel is the New England Chapter Board President. She is an active and passionate supporter and advocate for all people living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.



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