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Patient Commando #TentTalk – Live Journal

“Healing Through Theatre” – July 10th, 5PM at The Toronto Fringe Festival Tent Talks

Relevant Hashtags: #FringeTT#TentTalk #FringeClub

♦♦♦ Pre Event ♦♦♦

13:00 via @PatientCommando: Join us Today for our @Toronto_Fringe tent talk with @CancerCantDance details on FB http://t.co/9Sba9WPu

13:05 via @PatientCommando: PM Tent Talk at 581 Bloor Street for @Toronto_Fringe – Come one, Come all.

(RT via @mhoul3)

13:12 via @Colleen_Young: @PatientCommando see you at the #FringeTT at 5pm for your show. Can’t wait http://t.co/vPGmEfJk

13:39 via @PatientCommando: Everything you need to know about today’s Tent Talk event – http://t.co/0sIdoxca

(RT via @Toronto_Fringe, @rosabourin, @BeeRaskob)

16:00 via @PatientCommando: 1 Hour to show time @Toronto_Fringe “Healing Through Theatre” #FringeTT http://t.co/0sIdoxca

(RT via @EatPooLove)

16:41 via @PatientCommando: Getting our team sorted, the camera primed and twitter feed at the ready

♦♦♦ Event Start ♦♦♦

17:00 via @verbitty: Taking in a @Toronto_Fringe #TentTalk at Artist Alley about theatre’s power to heal, follow me for all the live action!

17:01 via @PatientCommando: Tent talk starting and its a packed house

17:02 via @PatientCommando: Clare from @Toronto_Fringe kicks us off

17:04 via @PatientCommando: Intros with Brian G Smith, Dan Stolfi, Zal, and Dr. Jeremy  Photo: http://t.co/4Uw41jZK

17:06 via @PatientCommando: Zal talking about what we do http://t.co/fIZCl19c 

17:08 via @verbitty: Patients like to tell their story, empowers them to engage their providers for better care

17:08 via @PatientCommando: Dr. Jeremy talking about how telling a story “works”

17:10 via @PatientCommando: Improv creates an authentic story – Brian G Smith Photo: http://t.co/G7K5egPI

17:12 via @verbitty: Arts Health Initiative uses humour with retirement residents, reduces agitation and increases sociability

17:13 via @PatientCommando: Improv and humorous patient storytelling shows a 20% decrease in agitation in patients

(RT @IHaveIIH)

17:13 via @verbitty: Not just using humour, but empathy and emotion to connect with patients

17:14 via @verbitty: Patch Adams: Treat the disease you win or lose; treat the patient, you win everytime

17:14 via @PatientCommando: You treat the patient you win everytime. #PatchAdams

17:16 via @PatientCommando: Zal demonstrates theatre and connection Photo: http://t.co/boaXjWrk

17:18 via @PatientCommando: Zal demonstrating the power of impressions Photo: http://t.co/ATD8cExA

17:19 via @verbitty: Theatre is about illusion and perspective, applying to healing changes views on illness and response

17:20 via @PatientCommando: Dan Stolfi shares his story Photo: http://t.co/ILFyTmTP

17:24 via @verbitty: Cancer Can’t Dance Like This: from Fringe to national, giving cancer sufferes a voice via awareness and education

17:25 via @PatientCommando:@CancerCantDance shares benefits of telling an award winning show and now working with Brian Photo: http://t.co/JMI0bKU3

17:33 via @PatientCommando: @CancerCantDance and @Toronto_Fringe 100 play “Dr. Know it all”. Hilarity ensues Photo: http://t.co/Z2IakYAV

17:33 via @verbitty: From Giraffe Elboowtology to Elephant Testicles (Period): Three-Headed Doctor and other improv games

17:35 via @PatientCommando: Dr. Jeremy discusses med school, humour, and narrative.

17:37 via @PatientCommando: Questions from the audience. I think I know this guy…

17:39 via @verbitty: Acceptance of hardships, sickness or otherwise, gives you power over it to use for humour and theatre

17:39 via @PatientCommando: @CancerCantDance shares insights from his journey – when to introduce story to a patient and share

17:42 via @verbitty: Theatre liberates you from the downs of sickness active listening creates doctor-patient empathy

17:42 via @PatienCommando: “Theatre can build #empathy” – Zal Press

17:43 via @verbitty: Using humour and more accessible patient language to help patients laugh sooner and cope better

17:44 via @PatientCommando: No one wants to hear “knock knock, it’s cancer.” – Dr. Jeremy Photo: http://t.co/kzjjC6QZ

17:47 via @PatientCommando: A patient story can provide the reframing necessary for a posititve patient-doctor relationship.

17:49 via @verbitty: Medicine is a blend of art and science

17:51 via @PatientCommando: Zal – talking about patient commando. Come visit us. (shameless plug)

17:52 via @verbitty: Patient Commando amplifies patient voice empowers, engages, teaches narrative skills to play own role in healing

17:55 via @PatientCommando: How to balance humour and mockery in patient relationships. @CancerCantDance shares his experience. Photo: http://t.co/kuzIjYJO

17:56 via @verbitty: Line between using vs imposing humour, coping vs mockery; know audience, turn topic on self so others relate

18:00 via @PatientCommando: One more improve/creative exercise with @CancerCantDance Photo: http://t.co/m7HJ8oqx

(RT @thisisjboogie)

18:06 via @PatientCommando: Questions from the audience turn this activity into a terrifically funny activity

18:08 via @PatientCommando: Thank you to all who attended. Now to @EatPooLove’s show at the Randolph theatre at 9PM. Thx @Toronto_Fringe

18:10 via @verbitty: Hilarious #TentTalk on theatre and healing! Talks every day at 5, visit Artist Alley at @Toronto_Fringe for a talk or come see a show!

21:40 via @Toronto_Fringe: @PatientCommando Read the live tweets that The 100 made at the #TentTalk Great talk today!

♦♦♦ End of Event ♦♦♦

For more photos on our Fringe Festival event visit us on Facebook.

Thanks to all who helped support this event via Twitter.

@MargaretAtwood @Toronto_Fringe @EatPooLove @pipbradford @Vnusinbluejeans @BeeRaskob @sarahmagni @OffTheTwuff @AijaGreen @MarryMeOwen @verbitty @mhoul3 @kathykastner @colleen_young @StampedAStory @thisisjboogie @danielstolfi @cancercantdance @harriseve @med_writer @rosabourin @IHaveIIH

Tent Talk: Healing Through Theatre

Today at 5:00 PM we will present our Toronto Fringe Festival Tent Talk: Healing Through Theatre. All are welcome to attend.

Our Executive Director Zal Press, will be joined by speakers Daniel Stolfi, of the Award Winning Theatre Production, Cancer Can’t Dance Like This, and Dr. Jeremy Rezmovits, from Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.  Brian G. Smith, Creative Director for Patient Commando and The Second-City Alumni will facilitate this humorous one-hour event.

During a kick-off event at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Theatre last year, Brian orchestrated a brilliant performance that demonstrated the power of theatre and humour. While today’s event will be a slightly different program it will undoubtably build upon the efficacy of performance.  Join us.

Event Details:

Panel members from the health industry, show business and patient organizations tackle the topic of “Healing Through Theatre” in a riotous discussion. This is Laugh Therapy at its best. Moderated by Brian G. Smith, presented by PatientCommando.com

More information available here

The Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s 581 Bloor St W

Tuesday July 10th 5:00-6:00pm: Healing Through Theatre

Bar open 4:30pm – 12am

If you can’t make it we’ll be on Twitter the entire time tweeting #FringeTT

Michael Seres – The Man With Olympic Sized Guts

The morning after my first bowel resection over 21 years ago, I was lying in bed still woozy from anesthetic. A troop of white coated doctors entered the room and surrounded my bed. It was my surgical team.

The lead resident was filling me in on how successful the operation was, how much bowel was removed, when he added, “Oh, by the way, while we were in there we removed your appendix too.”

He was much too casual about taking one of my body parts. I panicked momentarily, groping myself between my legs to make sure the surgeons hadn’t got carried away “while they were in there”!

I’ve learned to live with the consequences of those missing lengths for a couple of decades. I know I’ve been lucky. There are people in far worse condition than me. Then 5 days ago I came across Michael Seres online.

Michael didn’t just have a bowel resection. After years of chronic Crohn’s disease his bowel completely collapsed. A resection wasn’t going to do the trick. He needed a whole new bowel and was slated to be one of the very first people in the UK to undergo a bowel transplant.

The transplant took place in October, 2011. It hasn’t been an easy journey. But on Sunday, June 8, 2012, Michael sets a new standard in guts and glory by being an Olympic Torchbearer for the 2012 London Olympics.

You can watch him walk streamed live online here at approximately 9 a.m. EDT. If you miss it, we’ll be featuring it next week on our site.

We’re also going to be featuring Michael’s writings which are honest, enlightening, and visceral. With all that he’s undergone, he continues to understand the inherent connection between his reality and that of his wife and children. Through his constant blogging, and that of his wife Justine and young son Nathan, we will share all the intimate details of this unique story.

Even as one who has lost parts of my gut, I have difficulty relating to losing it all, then getting someone else’s to replace it. Michael Seres is my new hero. Aside from offering himself up as a guinea pig for this procedure, he’s taking us all along for the ride.

Thanks Michael. It’ll be exciting to see your walk on Sunday. Be careful playing with torches.

Here’s a couple of Michael’s blog posts to get you started.

The Fringe Festival Pushes Patient Story Into the Fray

The Toronto Fringe Festival is arguably the city’s largest theatre event.  This summer from July 4-15, over 150 performances will be presented to an expected audience of 100,000. That’s a whopping 4% of Toronto’s population.

What makes the Fringe exciting is the process in how acts are selected for the festival.  Each year hundreds of creative applicants send in their ballot to have a show slotted for a Fringe playbill. With no judge or jury, the shows are picked at random, making for a wildly organic and impressive lineup.

Fringe audiences are accustomed to alternative theatre.  Which is why it’s the perfect environment to showcase the new, truthful, gritty, and sometimes slightly less glamourous stories.  In our minds The Fringe is also the ideal arena for patient storytelling.

Last year proved this with the highly acclaimed performance of Daniel Stolfi’s “Cancer Can’t Dance Like This”. Daniel’s show has since gone on to win the Canadian Comedy Award for Best One Person Show, and garner national attention.

This year will be no different. In fact this year’s program offers at least two patient story events for public consumption. Details of these shows below.

Healing Through Theatre

Host: Brian G. Smith (Second City Alumni) Panel: Zal Press (Patient Commando),  Dr. Jeremy Rezmovitz (Sunnybrook Hospital), Daniel Stolfi (Cancer Can’t Dance Like This)

Event Details:

Panel members from the health industry, show business and patient organizations tackle the topic of “Healing Through Theatre” in a riotous discussion. This is Laugh Therapy at its best. Moderated by Brian G. Smith, presented by PatientCommando.com


The Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s 581 Bloor St W

Tuesday July 10th 5:00-6:00pm: Healing Through Theatre

Bar open 4:30pm – 12am

More information available here.


Eat Poo Love 

By: Paul Clement, Evan Mackay, Dan Mackay Cast: Dan Mackay, Evan Mackay, Paul Clement

Paul Clement survived Stage 2 Colon Cancer and went on to blog about it (selected blogs available here), and eventually co-wrote a stage version of the blog which will be performed at the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival as “Eat, Poo, Love”.  He recently appeared on the RogersTV program ‘daytime Peel’ to discuss his journey through the illness, and his fundraising work with Colon Cancer Canada.

Event Details:

You’re going to stick that WHERE?! When a demon knocks on Paul’s back door, his life takes a turn for the absurd as he is forced to greet the medical community ass-first. Surrendering his dignity in a series of ridiculous situations, Paul ponders what can’t be resolved by a clean bill of health. This true story is full of shit.

Purchase Tickets Here.


Randolph Theatre / Annex Theatre 736 Bathurst St.

July 06 05:15 PM July 07 07:30 PM July 10 09:00 PM July 11 12:00 PM July 12 11:00 PM July 14 05:45 PM July 15 01:45 PM

We’re exceptionally pleased that The Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival and its patrons continue to support patient storytelling.  Our thanks.

Father’s Day Special

I’m reminded of the time my father came to visit me in the hospital after my second bowel resection.

He entered the room in earlier afternoon, walking at a measured pace with his cane, neatly dressed in a suit, winter overcoat and fedora. Ignoring my mother’s exhortations that a man of 91 and such short stature shouldn’t be travelling by public transit on a wintery day, he navigated the system to come and sit by my side.

He related in extreme detail, and with great pride I might add, how he walked to the bus stop, got on the bus and leisurely rode the 35 minutes to the subway. He described all of the new buildings he had noticed along the way and admired the courage of the developers and the creativity of the architects. Getting off the bus, he transferred to the subway, agilely maneuvering down the long escalators leading to the cavernous stations. “I took my time” he cautioned, when my eyes opened wide with the image of his aching, arthritic knees adjusting to the many steps. Once off the subway his chest puffed up as he was able to breathe the cold fresh March air and coast the rest of the way by foot to the hospital.

That was pretty much the dialogue that day. I was 2 days out of surgery, still deeply under morphine influence, aching gut, and not up for company. It didn’t matter to him that I wasn’t very hospitable or communicative. He wanted to be there with his son. That was all that mattered and the conversation wasn’t that important.

For the next 3 days he repeated the trip, same suit, same hat. Same conversation.

My father’s sense of duty is an example of how the illness experience can be interpreted by a parent witnessing the illness of a child, regardless of their age (I was 49 at the time). It starts with the first sniffle as a baby.

This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day and the relationship of parents and children challenged with an illness. There’s Aza Raskin’s lyrical memory of his late father Jef Raskin, inventor of the Mac, and Pulitzer Prize winner Buzz Bissinger’s brutally honest memoir of his road trip with brain damaged son Zach. Unlike the conversations I had with my dad that week over 12 years ago, not one of these stories is the same.

Feel free to add your story to theirs.

World IBD Day for the week

Its World IBD Day today so since it’s Saturday and every living creature with an appetite is out hunting down new prey, I’m going to celebrate the day for the whole week.

I’m biased, of course. I’ve been living with Crohn’s disease for over 31 years. It’s one of the family of nasty Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, (yes, Bowel diseases) that includes Ulcerative Colitis, but does not include IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (more on that in another post).

Since its such a gross topic (bowel disease, you can only imagine) I’ll skip the details of my experience and go straight to highlighting those individuals who have shared with us some remarkable stories. You’ll see the index below to get you started and every day this week you’ll see some of these stories and individuals highlighted on our home page.

Trust me. It takes a little bit of courage to talk about your toilet habits in public. It can be funny, but these folks aren’t getting paid to entertain a crowd at a comedy club. What they are doing is breaking down the stigma attached to these illnesses, and in so doing, are changing the world one story at a time.

Bravo to these articulate souls. We’ve got award winning author Jon Reiner, mountain climber Rob Hill, prominent advocate Michele Hepburn, Ben from across the pond in the UK, and many others in writing and video. Feel free to add your story to theirs.

  • Why we think IBD should be considered a Chronic Illness

    Posted on by Gut Inspired

    Published on Nov 25, 2013 Elliott and Rob from Gut Inspired, a group of Canadians living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD; Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis) talk about why IBD should be considered a 'chronic illness'. When living with IBD, understanding and support are incredibly important. Imagine a world where you don't have to explain what living with IBD is like because your friends, family and employers already know, where the government sees digestive disease as a priority and where people experiencing IBD symptoms are identified and diagnosed right away. We think this is possible if you keep taking the Read More…

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  • Happily Ever After My Diagnosis

    Posted on by Colitis Ninja

    On December 15th, 2009, I was matched up on eHarmony with a man named David (for the SECOND time - long story, I'll explain later!!!). Being tired of waiting for the men to make the first move and message me first, I sent him my initial questions. I was a little surprised when he responded, but he did and shortly after that (January 23rd of 2010 to be exact) we started dating. About a year later, in January of 2011, the symptoms started. It began with diarrhea and rapidly advanced to severe rectal bleeding. I told David that I was Read More…

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  • Am I addicted?

    Posted on by Me & My Crohns

    Posted on December 2, 2013 Since being diagnosed over 6 years ago I have become very blasé about “popping” pills. There have been times in my treatment when I have been taking 12 pills before I had even had my morning wash. I guess I tried to be as ignorant as possible to what I was taking in a blind hope that they would offer some relief from my Crohn’s Disease symptoms. No matter what my ailment, there always seemed to be an extra pill that could be taken. Even now that I am more educated to what the medications Read More…

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  • Bowel transplant patient experience

    Posted on by Being A Patient

    Michael Seres talks about his bowel transplant experience relating it to how and why patients need to be part of the decision making process. He speaks to surgeons, clinicians and doctors at the Intestinal Transplant Symposium held in Oxford in June 2013. Follow Michael on Twitter @mjseres Or his blog Being A Patient Isn't Easy   More from Michael Seres Read More…

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  • A Partner In Crohn’s

    Posted on by Me & My Crohns

    Posted: 22 Jun 2013 11:37 AM PDT I talk to many people throughout my life that suffer with an IBD, either through Twitter (@MrAwesomeBen), my blog or my local Crohn’s and Colitis UK (Leicestershire & Rutland) charity. These people have become a cruck for me to rely on. They know, pretty much, what I am going through. These people, some of whom are complete strangers, people who I would not recognise if I passed them in the street, are there for me and vice-versa. I bang on about not suffering alone, especially in this modern era of the internet where Read More…

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  • Fighting Crohn’s Disease on a Tandem

    Posted on by Me & My Crohns

    Posted: 08 Apr 2013 05:52 AM PDT Hello to all my Crohnies old and new.  I am sat writing this latest blog while slightly spaced out on pain killers, home off work due to my silly tummy and even sillier IBD. Over the weekend I helped celebrate my wife’s Grandma’s 90th birthday. This celebration included a lot of party food and subsequently led to a rather upset bowel. Yesterday saw me struggle with diarrhoea which I tried to control with loperamide tablets (Imodium) then during the night I had really bad cramps which meant I didn’t sleep well and had Read More…

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  • Stubborn Head, Stubborn Bowel

    Posted on by Me & My Crohns

    Posted: 02 Jan 2013 10:36 AM PST I don’t know about you but I really don’t like giving up. I have always been stubborn but ever since my Crohn’s diagnosis I think I have become even more stubborn. I think I lie more too, nothing grand just little white lies about how well I am. These lies are not to mislead others; they are aimed at misleading myself. If I tell myself I am well enough to do something then most of the time I will do it. My stubbornness and self lies get me through most situations. I’m not Read More…

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  • I Have Crohn’s Disease

    Posted on by Mike Keeper

    Mike says: ‘Since being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2007, I’ve pilgrimaged, like so many others, on that long road toward the Mecca of consistent bowel health. So far, I’ve found the way to be not-so-difficult. I’m fortunate. Good doctor, relatively mild case. Still, what a frustrating, inexplicable disease Crohn’s can be! Embarrassing, slapdash, specific in its unspecificity. And that the origins of Crohn’s remain a mystery (i.e. we know what it *is*, just not *why* it is), a mystery even as more and more people seem to be “coming down” with a case, can tend one toward paranoid Read More…

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  • Girls-With-Guts: Megan’s Story

    Posted on by Girls With Guts

    When the Little Things Make a Big Difference My college campus wasn’t very big. It only took 10 minutes to walk across the entire thing, and less to go from class to class. But even so, I remember running out of one class to use the nearest bathroom, and walking, defeated, to the next building for my next class, just to have that dreaded feeling of urgency hit again. Junior year of college was one of the hardest times I have had in dealing with my IBD. I had been diagnosed just two years prior, and I had had it for long Read More…

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  • Michael Seres @11.38pm

    Posted on by Being A Patient

    Friday, 7 October 2011 Well we just got the call that a bowel has become available and we are now on route to oxford. It really is the most nerve racking thing you could ever wish to happen. My wife and I just didn't know what to say to each other when the call came. They have told me so far that my estimated surgery time is 7am as they have to retrieve the bowel. Also they cannot give the final go ahead until they see the bowel. I will keep you posted as to what happens. Am currently on Read More…

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  • Michael Seres – Wed 21st Dec @ 3.49pm

    Posted on by Being A Patient

    (Editor's Note: This is Michael's first blog since the transplant). So let me recap about life from my perspective since 8th October. Somehow I seem to have blogged a day after my op from intensive care. In truth I have absolutely no memory of doing that at all. In fact I have no real recollection of the first few days post transplant at all. Obviously I have been told all about the care given to me and the team that looked after me but I feel terrible because I don't even remember who did what. My last memory before the Read More…

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  • The Man Who Couldn’t Eat

    Posted on by Jon Reiner

    By Jon Reiner This feels so illicit. And stupid. But really, I must lick this french fry. I'm not asking to eat it, mind you, that wouldn't be good. I just want to lick it. Taste its salt. I cower in the kitchen, hiding from my wife and boys, who are out there, on the other side of the door, enjoying a sumptuous dinner, like eaters do — devouring what's delicious, picking at what is not, saving room for dessert — while I starve. Yes, I'm starving. There's been nothing for two months now. No food, no drink, nothing in Read More…

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  • Emergency Supplies

    Posted on by Me & My Crohns

    22 Apr 2012 Whenever I head out, I try and make sure I have my essentials. As I have explained before, as an IBD sufferer you always have to be prepared. A night out on the town is no different; in fact it probably needs a little more planning especially if you intend to have an alcoholic drink or two. Alcohol does have an effect on my body and that can make me a little tense and apprehensive. I probably shouldn’t drink alcohol but there are so many things my Crohn’s Disease stops me from enjoying, so alcohol, even with Read More…

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  • Growing up with Crohn’s

    Posted on by Patrick Leger

    Published on May 8, 2012 by SCDPat My life prior to being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and how I managed while growing up. Symptoms, diagnosis and treatments. Read More…

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  • Gut Inspired: Rob on being an advocate

    Posted on by Gut Inspired

    Published on Apr 18, 2012 by GutInspired Rob Hill is a member of Gut Inspired, living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD; Crohn's Disease). He is sharing more about his experiences advocating for himself and others as well as actively managing his disease with his health care team. Rob knows the importance of communication and can better manage his symptoms because works together with specialists he trusts. Rob Hill works with the Intestinal Disease, Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS) raising awareness and sharing his experiences through Gut Inspired. Please share this video with others who may live with IBD and encourage Read More…

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  • Michele is Gut Inspired

    Posted on by The 3C Foundation of Canada

    Published by GutInspired on Jun 27, 2011 Gut Inspired is a group of Canadians living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis who have joined forces to increase the awareness of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Canada, offer support for individuals living with IBD and provide personal experiences to assist others living with IBD learn how to better manage their disease. Read More…

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  • Rob Hill Climbs Mountains

    Posted on by No Guts Know Glory

    In 1994, Rob was a fit, healthy 23-year-old, an amateur runner and athlete. Until that time, he had never really been sick. He didn’t even have a regular doctor. When the illness started, it progressed rapidly. Daily diarrhea. Sustained stomach cramps. The diagnosis was Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract. It got worse, and his weight plummeted from 185 to 105 pounds. After a year and a half, it became clear that his large intestine, his colon, needed to be removed. Not long after surgery, Rob started getting active again, running and eventually competing. In his lowest Read More…

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  • My Life, My Colon and Me – Liz’s Story

    Posted on by @UC_Documentary

    A documentary following the life of an Ulcerative Colitis sufferer. Read More…

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  • TEDxEast – Ari Meisel Takes on Crohn’s Disease

    Posted on by TEDxEast

    May 9, 2011 Ari Meisel trains his body to conquer Crohn's disease. Read More…

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  • E-Patient Video Profile for Medicine X

    Posted on by Chronology

    I am extremely floored to be the profiled e-patient in this six-minute video on peer-to-peer healthcare. Larry Chu, MD, the organizer of Stanford Medicine X hired a very talented videographer (Theo Rigby) to shadow me for a day and interview me. I talked about what it has been like to live with Crohn's Disease, and how I was inspired to build Crohnology to connect patients with it so we can find new medical discoveries. - Sean Ahrens Read More…

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  • A Major Victory Over Crohn’s Disease

    Posted on by Julie's Raw Ambition

    By Julie Kalivretenos July 5, 2010 It’s been a week since the big GREAT news! As I start the day this morning I can still hardly believe this new reality, feeling as if I’ve dropped a 500 pound burden off of my back. I have so much to say I can hardly keep it structured in paragraphs, much less a single blog post! Over seven years after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, the greatest thing that could ever come from the recent tests I’ve undergone this past week is that it is officially in remission! In fact, no Crohn’s was Read More…

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  • Too Much Information

    Posted on by Me and My Crohn’s

    May 15, 2011 Do you ever forget where the “Too much information” line is? I spend so much time around other Crohnies, close friends and family that I forget what is acceptable in everyday conversation. The regular guy in the street doesn’t really want to know about my bowel movements. When someone asks me a question with regards to Crohn’s, I plough straight in. Quite often describing many of the symptoms, side effects and affected areas of my body. I don’t seem to blush with embarrassment anymore. Does this mean I’m comfortable talking about bums? When I meet new people Read More…

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  • Rubber Side Down

    Posted on by Andy Peterson

    What began as an idea became a challenge. From a challenge, a commitment was forged. With a commitment, anything is possible. It is an epic Canadian adventure best summed up in three words: Coast. To. Coast. Spanning over three months in the summer of 2008, two amateur cyclists would attempt to pedal 8,000 kilometers from Victoria, British Colombia to St. John's, Newfoundland, in an effort to shed light on Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis - tragic bowel diseases that are in dire need of a voice. What they discovered will astound you. Experience a film that depicts the vastness of Read More…

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  • My Crohn’s disease and my ileostomy

    Posted on by Gloria

    This is the story of my Crohn's disease and my ileostomy. I hope it will help you. Read More…

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  • How Remicade Infusion Pow-Wows Are Empowering Patients

    Posted on by The Crohnology Blog

    Crohn's and Colitis are isolating conditions. Because they are invisible illnesses, it's impossible for a patient to walk down the street and identify another. As a result, we patients are disconnected from each other by default. To be connected to other patients, it takes conscious effort. Friendships in real life are created by people being put into situations that allow them ample time to get to know others socially -- for example, you meet someone at work, at school, or at a party. Patients with Crohn's & Colitis don't have a natural setting for this sort of socialization. As a Read More…

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  • Mike McCready’s Life with Crohn’s

    Posted on by EverydayHealth

    As lead guitarist for Pearl Jam, Mike McCready has lived the charmed life of a rock star for a long time, or so it seemed to fans. But rock star status couldn't change the fact that Mike was also living the life of a Crohn's disease patient. More than once, a Crohn's attack forced him to run off stage in the middle of a concert in a desperate search for a bathroom. In a HealthTalk interview with Rick Turner, Mike shares his good and bad moments with Crohn’s disease and offers advice, encouragement and a lot of heart to others Read More…

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Congratulations Dear 16 Year Old Me

Canadian produced Melanoma video tops the prestigious Webby Awards

The number one patient story of the year, the video “Dear 16 Year Old Me” has set a new standard of storytelling by winning 2 Webby Awards, the leading international awards honouring excellence on the Internet.

The David Cornfield Melanoma Fund production, “Dear 16 Year Old Me”, won for Best Online Video – Public Service and Activism, and for Best Copywriting. It has been seen almost 7 million times, in 150 countries, and in 5 languages. No other patient story in living memory has come close to this level of global impact.

The video is by melanoma patients who, through reflection, tell their 16 year old self some life lessons that can make an important difference in their lives.

It’s a milestone in the history of healthcare when a patient story, told by real patients, outdraws a Hollywood celebrity doctor. It’s a story that can inform practice, change patient behaviour and improve public health.

This film wasn’t supported with a mass media campaign and major sponsors. It won the hearts of millions with an authentic narrative that engages its viewers with its honesty

“Dear 16 Year Old Me” proves that the stories of real people can change lives. Alongside great Canadian role models – change makers like Terry Fox and Rick Hansen – you’re going to start seeing the name David Cornfield.

David died at 32, a young man with great promise. What he started in life is being fulfilled by his legacy, a film as inspirational and dynamic as he was, with the power to influence the actions of millions of people.

If you haven’t seen this remarkable film, take 5 minutes to see it now and share it with your friends and family. If you have seen it, then watch it again with the knowledge that you’re participating in an historic event.

Zal Press Executive Director

“Valleys”: Successfully Funded on Kickstarter

On with the show!

Our congratulations to Mike Lang (Director) and Amy Aubin (Star) of the soon to launch web documentary “Valleys”.  In the final days of crowd-funding, this dynamic duo managed to raise an impressive $18,000 via Kickstarter.

As the Director of Photography for the Toronto portion of this series I am pleased to know that “Valleys” will be developed as Mike originally intended. It was evident when the trailer was launched last week that Amy’s story was powerful and necessary to share.

We look forward to updating you on “Valleys” as news becomes available.

Here’s a snippet from Amy’s blog – sharing her excitement:

Wow – so Valleys the movie will be happening; in 30 days we managed to raise our goal of $17,000.00 thanks to a lot of people with big hearts!  Mikey said he had never raised this much and well neither had I; this past weekend we had our doubts as we had been stuck at the $5,000.00 mark but today we made it to $17,000.00 so thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has helped in any and every way.  No effort or donation is too small and I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart.  Now- we await update#2 where Mikey may come back to Toronto for some filming before we head down to the Grand Canyon to raft 188km’s a journey that seems to in some ways parallel my own […] more here.