If you haven’t noticed the belly photos flooding social media and even news stories (heard of Bethany Townsend, for instance?), well now you know. It’s all part of an IBD awareness campaign called #GetYourBellyOut.
If you have noticed, well we are about to kick up the awareness campaign a thousand more notches.
IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which encompasses Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. Both diseases are life changing and at times lethal. I myself came close to leaving this world at 25 due to complications from Crohn’s. And while I’m still alive and even in remission, I lead no normal life. Having a weakened immune system causes fatigue, and even in remission my “normal” is actually a roller coaster of symptoms, just not within the range of a flare. I get tired easy, my body reacts more dramatically to stress, and there is the matter of anxiety over the bathroom. So there’s my blurb about this disease.
Onto the campaign…in light of recent campaigns that have gone viral, and for good reason, the #GetYourBellyOut team has decided that instead of just asking people to post pics and donate (because let’s face it-asking and asking doesn’t exactly get you anywhere), we will pass it on by getting family and friends involved.
It’s so easy. Easier than getting a bucket of ice water dumped on you (although that was fun!). Just post a pic of your belly, donate to ccfa.org (or ccfa.uk- this campaign originated in the UK), and pass it on to someone else.
Because 1.4 million Americans suffer from IBD, and more than 5 million people worldwide, that’s why, and it’s on the rise. The average age of diagnosis with Crohn’s is 12-15 years old, although I’ve even seen children posted on social media wearing ostomies or in hospital with the dreaded NG tube hanging from their noses.
So come on, post your belly to facebook, twitter, or Instagram (or all 3), donate, and pass it on! Don’t be shy. You should see the many bellies on our page. Do it! #GetYourBellyOut.
(Founded by Sahara, Victoria, Lorna, and Gem who have changed my life, built a worldwide community, and are still rocking it even though they are four sick gals!)