5 Ways to Share Your Experience Living With IBD
*Post sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb. Opinions expressed belong to the Gut It Out Foundation.
1. Use Your Social Media
We're a little biased at the Gut It Out Foundation on the power of social media. Our Foundation was created in part due to the overwhelming support we got from our online community that we created through @gutitout on Instagram. Since we spend so much time on our phones, on social media, why not use your account to be a place where others can feel seen and less isolated in their experience with IBD?
You can share your scars, your medication, your infusions, or just share if you're having a good or bad day and why. Use popular hashtags within the IBD community in your captions, to help others who are looking for content like yours. Examples of hashtags include: #ibd #ibdawareness #ibdwarrior #crohns #crohnsdisease #crohnswarrior #ulcerativecolitis #colitis and #gutitout of course!
2. Find an Online Support Group
Attending in-person support groups can be intimidating, but online support groups can be way less daunting. You don't have to leave your home and you can arrive in your pjs!
To find an online support group near you, consider using the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Support Group search tool on their website. There are support groups all across the country and you can connect with a group of locals near you!
3. Participate in a Patient Panel or Research Study
There are many organizations doing tremendous work in the IBD research space, from non-profit organizations, to private universities, to pharmaceutical companies. Many of these organizations host patient panels or recruit patients for research studies.
It can be so rewarding to share your personal experience and help others who are living with IBD. For example, some patients with ulcerative colitis could join Bristol Myers Squibb's upcoming Virtual Patient Panel Discussion. This panel allows you to lend your voice to help reshape the conversation about living with UC. If you're interested, you can find additional details below this blog post!
4. Volunteer for an IBD Nonprofit
Your experience as an IBD patient is priceless to a nonprofit dedicated to the IBD community. While the Gut It Out Foundation doesn't currently have in-person volunteer opportunities, we do accept volunteers to contribute to our digital content. You can email us your #GotGuts story or send in a question for one of our #TalkItOut posts. If there's a topic surrounding IBD that you're really passionate about, we always welcome guest writers for our blog!
5. Make Personal Connections
You are your biggest advocate! When you share more about your IBD journey with those around you, the more those close to you can learn how best to support you. Sharing your experience doesn't just help you, it helps others. IBD is often times an invisible illness and when you speak up about your experience, you never know who could be enlightened or inspired by your story. Challenge yourself to make personal connections with others about your shared IBD experiences - whether it be through a friend of a friend or online. There is so much good waiting to happen on the other side of your vulnerabilities.
Are you interested in sharing your experience living with ulcerative colitis?
Virtual Patient Panel Details
Meeting: Multiple opportunities December, 2020 through March, 2021
About the Host: Bristol Myers Squibb is excited to hear and learn from people living with ulcerative colitis. Please note that this opportunity is available to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria below; however, not everyone who is interested will be selected to participate.
• Are 18 years of age or older
• Diagnosed with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis within the last 10 years
• Have been prescribed and are currently taking a medication to treat your UC
• Are under the care of a gastroenterologist
• Are not currently involved in a clinical trial
• Are willing to share your personal experience living with UC with others
If you meet this criteria and are interested in participating, call 1-855-665-1443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the opportunity.
If selected, Bristol Myers Squibb will provide reimbursement for your time participating in the patient discussion. The information you provide will be kept confidential.
To maintain confidentiality due to privacy regulations, individuals must nominate themselves for this opportunity.