World IBD Day

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is not just a bad case of gas, it's actually a serious affliction that often requires hospitalisation and surgery.


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IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a collective term for Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. As well as becoming more common, these conditions are also becoming more complex and severe and are being diagnosed in more and more very young patients.

During a flare up of IBD, inflammation of the colon, rectum and gastrointestinal tract can become so severe that a sufferer needs to be hospitalised and often requires surgery. The causes of the disease are not fully known, but are believed to be related to an overreaction of the immune system towards bacteria in the digestive tract.

What is World IBD Day?

World IBD Day is held on 19 May every year by patient organisations representing over 40 countries in 4 different continents around the world. The day is a unified effort to raise awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In Australia the day is supported by Crohn’s & Colitis Australia (CCA), a not-for-profit organisation representing the IBD community.

The day consists of a variety of events designed to make IBD a talking point around the world, with forums, conferences, seminars and a multitude of fundraising events held by organisations and individuals. The colour purple is associated with IBD and features prominently in World IBD Day.

What’s happening in 2021?

Plans for World IBD Day 2021 are expected to be announced soon on the World IBD Day website. Last year's World IBD Day saw 140 famous landmarks worldwide being lit purple to show support for the fight against this disease. Alongside the landmarks campaign, patient associations and activists organised local events aimed at lobbying and educating the public about IBD.

How can you get involved?

As well as participating in World IBD Day by attending an event or organising one of your own, there are lots of ways to show your support and raise awareness of IBD. You could:

  • Purchase promotional items from the CCA Shop including T-shirts, gifts and merchandise.
  • Make a tax-deductible donation to CCA by phone or online.
  • Leave a bequest in your will to CCA.
  • Ask for donations to CCA in lieu of gifts for your birthday, wedding or anniversary.
  • Become a CCA fundraiser and organise an event such as a fun run or walk, sporting day, charity auction or trivia night.
  • Become a CCA volunteer and assist with admin support, fundraising and marketing.
  • Become a corporate sponsor and align your organisation’s brand with a caring and growing community.

Back to Health Event Hub | Next May event: National Palliative Care Week

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