$5,000 for a student in need!

IBD scholarship empowers students

By guest blogger Marie Waine

As a university student, I know how challenging school can be: ­ managing money, meeting new friends, keeping up grades and trying to figure out the future. I can¹t imagine what it¹s like to do all this while facing any other pressures, let alone an illness with no known cause or cure.

That¹s why I was inspired when I heard about a scholarship specifically designed for students with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), who are striving to achieve their personal and academic goals despite their condition.

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) and AbbVie have teamed up to bring an IBD scholarship program for anyone living with IBD and is entering or already in a Canadian post-education institution. There are seven, one-time scholarships of up to $5000 available to support students to continue their education.

Clinton Shard

Inspiring, unstoppable: Clinton Shard, past-winner of the IBD Scholarship and student at Capilano University, British Columbia.

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Clinton Shard knows what it’s like to struggle with Crohn’s. The Business student at Capilano University in Vancouver, British Columbia is a past winner of the IBD scholarship. Clinton was diagnosed with Crohn’s when he was 12 years old and has faced the challenge of overcoming the many obstacles that living with a chronic illness presents. But he wasn’t going to let his illness stop him from attending university.

IBD causes inflammation in the intestines due to an abnormal reaction of the body’s immune system. It can result in very uncomfortable symptoms, many medical procedures and long hospital stays. And unfortunately, there is currently no cure.

Some sobering statistics:

• Canada has one of the highest number of reported cases of IBD in the world and many of these diagnoses (20-30%) are to youth under the age of 20. Unfortunately this disease ends up taking a toll on their schooling.
• A survey conducted by the CCFC showed 69 % of people who were diagnosed with IBD when they were young were delayed in completing post-secondary education.

The IBD scholarship programs aims to provide the opportunity to keep students inspired despite their disease.

Do you know a youth who should apply for this scholarship? All he or she needs to do is share how they’ve reached their life goals while battling IBD. By sharing stories, IBD sufferers can create awareness of the disease and help to reduce stigma surrounding it. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2013. Simply visit the IBD Scholarship web site.

And if you have a friend, neighbour, perhaps a colleague at work whose child could benefit from this $5,000 scholarship, do forward this blog post. Who knows, you could just help a determined youth get through school!