Michele Hepburn, BHSc
President, The 3C Foundation of Canada
The 3C Foundation of Canada is a registered Canadian charity devoted to enhancing the quality of life for children and adults living with Crohn’s, colitis and colorectal cancer (the 3Cs). Under Michele’s leadership, The 3C Foundation has grown from start-up in 2009to a dynamic, well-respected, patient-centred organization that supports and delivers programs and services to the 3C community. The Foundation’s programs and services are directed toward enabling those with any of the 3Cs to be empowered and confident participants in their own disease management.
As a founding Board Member and long-serving President, Michele is renowned for both her personal dedication to the Foundation and her passion for its causes. She devotes herself to the full-time, volunteer position of President. Her background as a health care professional and Michele’s own personal experience with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) contribute to her comprehensive and compassionate approach in supporting children and adults touched by the 3Cs. She has attained her Master level training for Stanford University’s Chronic Disease Self-Management Programand personally facilitates the “IBDealing With It!” self-management program, taking a very hands on approach with patients and their families.
In addition to her role with the 3C Foundation specifically, Michele sits on a number of committees and boards including a national patient advisory board and the executive committee for a national patient led advocacy group. She is a member of the selection committee for a national scholarship program and is a board member for a Genome Canada/CIHR Genomics and Personalized Health research project. Michele alsomakes her time and knowledge available to industry stakeholders who regularly pursue her expertise. She collaborates with health care professionals and has presented at the Canadian Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates national level conference.
True to her passion, Michele has literally climbed mountains in an effort to promote awareness of, and break the silence over, inflammatory bowel disease. In 2012, she participated in a physically and mentally demanding high altitude trek of the Peruvian Andes and in 2013 Michele completed a very physical trek of the remote regions of The Great Wall of China. Both treks encouraged those with IBD to challenge their own perceived limits while raising funds to help others living with IBD.
The 3C Foundation of Canada
There is currently no known cause or cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, (the two main subtypes being Crohn’s disease and colitis). The 3C Foundation of Canada understands that people living with IBD and colorectal cancer need tools, strategies and support to achieve the best long-term health outcomes despite their diagnosis. Family, friends and caregivers of those living with these diseases also require support and information.
The 3C Foundation aims to enhance quality of life for children and adults living with the 3Cs. To achieve this mission we work toward fulfilling three key promises.
- Obtain Funding & Provide Resources: The 3C Foundation works tirelessly to raise funds that provide resources and support important research to enhance the quality of life for children and adults living with the 3Cs.
- Educate, Support and Empower the 3C community: The 3C Foundation supports and delivers programs and services to the 3C community, enabling and empowering people to become confident participants in their disease management;
- Promote Awareness and Understanding: The 3C Foundation uses every opportunity to promote awareness and understanding of the 3Cs amongst patients, families, health care professionals & the general public while working toward eliminating the social stigma associated with the symptoms of these conditions. We are active in partnering with other national organizations to make a united effort to break the silence over inflammatory bowel disease.
The 3C Foundation is praised for its innovative programs, especially its Youth Gut Together program which enables and empowers youth to learn more about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); acquire tools and strategies to better manage IBD; connect with peers; and inspire confidence to participate in IBD management. In addition, the Youth Gut Together program provides families with the opportunity to participate in education sessions presented by IBD clinic professional experts; access resources; network; and find support. This model of excellence is being shared with other national organizations so that youth across Canada can benefit from this program.
For more information about the 3C Foundation, visit www.3cfoundation.org.