Friday, June 12, 2009

Crohn's Scholarship winners

Recently, the winners of the annual Crohn's and Me scholarship were announced. 30 indivuals recieved scholarships in the amount of $10,000 to further academic goals while dealing with Crohn's disease.

For more information on this year's winners follow this link

This scholarship provides what I feel is an excellent benefit for those who strive to gain an education in the face of what can be a debilitating illness.

Many with Crohn's have been able to complete education in periods of remission, while others have either had to take semesters or even full years off in order to get thier disease under control in order to complete thier academic goals.

While not promoting any specific organization, I applaud thier scholarship and encouarge any of those who suffer from Crohn's to apply for this generous award. I only hope in the future there are more scholarships and opportunities for those with inflammatory diseases to recieve assistance with what can be an expensive disease. (For further treatment on expenses, see my post on patient assistance programs)

On the same note, many feel hesitant to mention thier Crohn's disease due to the somewhat private nature of the symptoms. This can be hard for those attending school, including younger children, but even in college some are wary of explaining to a teacher why one would need to leave class repeatedly, absences for doctors visits that rarely can fit nicely into a loaded academic schedule, or even for a flare up.

However, speaking out is the only way I feel to get awareness of Crohn's into a more mainstream understanding. Imagine being able to send an email to the professor the beginning of the semester simply stating "I have crohn's disease." and the instructor would be warmly accomdating.

I have been fortunate to have instructors who not only knew of the disease but knew someone who had gone through the same illness. I've found them to be understanding and even supportive of my needs. For that, I am truly grateful. I would encourge those of you attending school to not let crohn's keep you from getting all the education you desire but also to make instructors aware (when applicable) about possible needs.

As for me, I'm graduating in July and starting law school in August. Crohn's won't hold me back from education....

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