Wisconsin Chapter April Update

Here's the latest news from the Wisconsin Chapter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

We hope you're excited for all the upcoming events we're planning in Wisconsin this year! In addition to education events in the Milwaukee area, we are getting together for a Milwaukee Wave game, a tour of a the Original Cheesehead Factory at our Take Steps Rally, and of course, our Take Steps walks! We'll also be kicking off our brand-new special event, An Autumn Affair, in just a few weeks. And I'm pleased to introduce Meggie Besaw as the newest member of our Wisconsin team!

As always, if you have questions about the Chapter or would like to pitch in and get involved with our efforts in Wisconsin, please reach out and contact me!

Leslie Del Ponte
Executive Director


Spring Education Program - May 11

Join us for a free education program in partnership with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin on Saturday, May 11. Check out the impressive line-up of speakers and register at online.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/wispringconference2019.

2019 WI Spring Conference MCW

Milwaukee Wave Game Coming Up!

Join us at the Milwaukee Wave game on Sunday, April 14 -- we will be featured as the Non-Profit of the Game! Get your tickets using this form.

milwaukee wave game 2019

Time to Take Steps!

Registration is now open for all of our Wisconsin walks! Please contact us to reactivate your walk team or register online!

Take Steps Milwaukee: Sunday, June 2, 2019 at South Shore Park - www.cctakesteps.org/Milwaukee2019

Take Steps Madison: Saturday, June 8, 2019 at McKee Farms Park - www.cctakesteps.org/Madison2019

Take Steps Green Bay Presented by Aurora BayCare Medical Center: Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 at Aurora BayCare Medical Center - www.cctakesteps.org/GreenBay

If you are interested in helping us plan and put together your local walk, please contact Leslie to learn more about our Take Steps committees.

Thank you to our sponsors:
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Welcome Our New Walk Coordinator

Meggie Besaw family

Hello everyone! My name is Meggie Besaw, and I'm so happy to have started as the new Walk Coordinator in the Wisconsin Chapter! I'll be assisting Leslie with the Take Steps walks in Milwaukee and Madison, and I'll take the lead on planning the Green Bay walk. I was born and raised in Appleton and went on to UW-Milwaukee where I earned my degree in Social Work. The photo above is with my Bernedoodle Otis and fiance Tyler (we're getting married this October).

I've been familiar with IBD for many years, as I have several friends who have Crohn's or colitis. I've even attended Take Steps Milwaukee before, and I'm excited to start this journey with all of you to raise awareness and find cures for these diseases! I'm looking forward to meeting everyone -- please don't hesitate to reach out in the meantime at [email protected] or (414) 475-5520.


2019 Take Steps Rally - April 28

WI TS Rally 2019

Join us for a fun event to kick off the 2019 walk season! Along with tips and tricks for fundraising and teambuilding, we'll have the option to tour the Original Cheesehead Factory and event make your own "cheese" creation! Sign up here!

Announcing... An Autumn Affair
an autumn affair save the date final

We are excited to announce a brand-new special event for the Wisconsin Chapter! An Autumn Affair will be the evening of Saturday, November 16 at Birch in Wauwatosa (connected to Camp Bar Tosa on North Ave.) We will hold a kickoff for this event on Thursday, May 9. Website coming soon!

If you are interested in helping us develop and plan this first-time event, please contact Leslie! 


Camp Oasis - New Dates for 2019!

Due to growing conflicts with school calendars, Camp Oasis Wisconsin has a new week! This year’s Camp Oasis will take place from July 14–19, 2019, at Camp Lutherdale in Elkhorn.

Our summer camp for children and teens with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is the highlight of the year for many of our campers that attend. Here’s what some of our camp families had to say:

“At first I was afraid to send my daughter to camp. Now I can’t imagine not sending her! She has made lifelong friends at Camp Oasis.”

“Camp Oasis gave my son the opportunity to realize he is not alone in the world.”

This co-ed residential summer camp program enriches provides them with a safe and supportive camp community. Our volunteer physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals are available for 24-hour care, and work to ensure campers follow the regimen prescribed by their doctors back home.

Watch our video and see what your children can experience!

Campers: entering grades 2-11 in Fall 2019 - Apply Now!
LITs: entering grade 12 in Fall 2019 - Apply Now!
Volunteers: minimum of 19 years old - Apply Now!

Camp applications are due on Friday, May 24. Learn all about Camp on our website, or contact Lauren Erbach Barnfield with questions!

Reducing Your Risk


If you have had IBD symptoms for eight or more years, it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways you can help reduce your risk for developing colorectal cancer. Although an uncomfortable process, colonoscopies are an important tool for surveillance to help in early detection, and are generally recommended every one to two years. Talk to your doctor about surveillance and other ways you can reduce your risk for colorectal cancer! Learn more here.

Women, Pregnancy, and IBD


Women who wish to become pregnant may be concerned about how their inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will impact pregnancy, as well as how pregnancy will affect their condition. The best time for a woman with IBD to become pregnant is when her IBD is in remission for at least 3-6 months and she is off steroids. It is also not advised that a woman become pregnant when starting a new medication.

Having active disease during pregnancy can increase the risk of having a baby born prematurely or with a low birth weight. Therefore, to maintain a state of remission and prevent IBD flares during pregnancy, it is important to continue taking prescribed medications. 

In most cases, medication schedules are maintained during pregnancy.  However, there are some considerations and exceptions. To learn more about the IBD medications that are safe during pregnancy, as well as when breastfeeding, please visit the Foundation’s brochure Understanding IBD Medications.



Support Groups

We are always looking to start new support groups! If you are interested in starting and facilitating a group in your area, please contact Lauren at 646-937-2628  or [email protected]. All our support groups are listed on our website and on our Facebook page.

Grafton Support Group
Aurora Medical Center
Email for next meeting date.
Click here for details.

Green Bay Support Group 
Downtown Green Bay YMCA
Meets 3rd Tuesday of the month
Next meeting: April 16
Click here for details.

Madison Support Group
This group is in need of a volunteer facilitator!
UW-Health Digestive Center
Meets 2nd Thursday of the month
Next meeting: April 11
Click here for details.

Milwaukee Support Group
Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center
Meets 2nd Monday of the month
Next meeting: April 8
Click here for details.

Milwaukee Parents Support Group
Community Conference Center
Meets Every Other Month on 2nd Tuesday
Next meeting: April 9
Click here for details.

Sheboygan County Support Group
This group is in need of a volunteer facilitator!
Next meeting: TBD
Click here for details.

UW-Madison Support Group
Der Rathskeller at Memorial Union
Email for next meeting date.
Click here for details.

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