Horsham, Pa., (December 2, 2011) – The winners of IBD Icons, a national campaign to celebrate the achievements of those living beyond inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), have been decided by America after a month-long, national vote. On December 4, Season 10 American Idol finalist Casey Abrams will recognize the winners onstage at a concert to kick off the Zappos.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon and ½ Marathon. The event will benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), the only national non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for IBD, and partner in the IBD Icons campaign.
The IBD Icons finalists were chosen by Casey and a panel of CCFA judges from the hundreds of inspirational stories submitted by people pursuing their dreams despite the challenges of IBD. Casey called on America to vote for one finalist with ulcerative colitis and one finalist with Crohn’s disease to decide the winners. After nearly 150,000 votes, the 2011 IBD Icons are:
Doug Yakich; Glendale, CA; Living beyond Crohn’s disease; and
Katie Jeter-Boldt; Kansas City, MO; Living beyond ulcerative colitis (UC).
IBD Icons celebrates the courage and persistence of those living with IBD and encourages them to never give in to their condition. IBD includes the chronic and lifelong digestive diseases UC and Crohn’s disease, which cumulatively affect 1.4 million Americans. Symptoms may include diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, blood loss, weight loss, and fatigue.
Casey was diagnosed with UC two years ago. Despite complications with UC while competing on American Idol, Casey persevered and finished in sixth place. Casey said he felt a sense of responsibility to others with IBD to open up about his personal experience.
“At the time, having a UC flare-up in the middle of the competition seemed like an obstacle—this wall I had to climb over," said Casey. "But with IBD Icons, I feel that we—everyone who entered and all the fans who voted—are making a real difference in the way people see this disease. So, it turns out this 'obstacle' is one of the ways I can connect with others and make a difference. Thanks to everyone who helped make this effort to build awareness of IBD a success!"
Through IBD Icons, program sponsor, Janssen Biotech, Inc. pledged to make a donation to CCFA for every vote cast, up to $10,000, for IBD research and education. In response to the tremendous support shown through the IBD Icons fan club to help raise awareness, Janssen Biotech will double its donation to $20,000 and Casey has pledged to shave his beard in early 2012.
“Working with Casey Abrams and Janssen Biotech, Inc. on IBD Icons has been a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness and critical research funds to help find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,” said Kimberly Frederick, LCSW, MSW, Senior Vice President of Mission, CCFA. “We want to congratulate the winners and all the IBD Icons finalists. They are truly inspiring, and we hope that others will find strength in their stories.”
For more on the 2011 IBD Icons and all the finalists, visit www.IBDIcons.com.
Casey Abrams was compensated by Janssen Biotech, Inc. for his time in preparing for and participating in IBD Icons.
About Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects approximately 1.4 million Americans, with the incidence evenly split between ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. IBD affects men and women equally and can strike at any age. While both inflammatory bowel diseases have similar symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and fatigue, Crohn's disease can infect any part of the GI tract, whereas ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon. Although considerable progress has been made in IBD research, investigators do not yet know what causes IBD. There is currently no medical cure for ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the leading voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding a cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). CCFA’s mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public and furnishing supportive services for people with IBD. For more information, visit ccfa.org, call 888-694-8872, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
About Janssen Biotech, Inc.
Janssen Biotech, Inc. redefines the standard of care in immunology, oncology, urology and nephrology. Built upon a rich legacy of innovative firsts, Janssen Biotech has delivered on the promise of new treatments and ways to improve the health of individuals with serious disease. Beyond its innovative medicines, Janssen Biotech is at the forefront of developing education and public policy initiatives to ensure patients and their families, caregivers, advocates and health care professionals have access to the latest treatment information, support services and quality care. For more information on Janssen Biotech, Inc. or its products, visit www.janssenbiotech.com.
Janssen Biotech is one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies dedicated to addressing and solving some of the most important unmet medical needs in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we work together to bring innovative ideas, products, services and solutions to people throughout the world. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JanssenUS.
Linda Davis, Janssen Biotech, Inc.
Mobile : 215-272-8787