Fundraiser for Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada
May marked another successful fundraiser for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada thanks to M&M Meat Shops. Staff and volunteers across Canada sell hamburgers, hotdogs and ice cream bars, and every cent raised goes directly to research. That last fact alone is phenomenal. At a time when gala fundraisers cost almost as much money to put on as they actually raise or when a big corporation gives only a percentage of its sales to the designated charity, it’s really nice to see a company that is willing to take a hit to its profit margin for a day. This year’s event raised more than $1.6 million in one day.
I must admit that this fundraiser hits particularly close to home for me. I developed Colitis a few years ago. Before that, I had no idea how common these diseases are amongst Canadians. IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and is an umbrella term for a whole series of diseases that affect the intestinal tract in one way or another and can range in seriousness from mild to critical.
The research that’s been done over the last couple of decades alone has gone a long way in contributing to doctors’ knowledge of how the disease operates. But, if I have any beef at all with both researchers and doctors, it’s the box which some of them inhabit.
First, there’s great research going on concerning the relationship between food, environment and the disease. I think that the discoveries in this area really need to be communicated. Sometimes, the medication masks the effect that these two factors have on us when we should perhaps be looking much more closely at what we eat. Food can be a very powerful medicine.
Second, I found that the steroids and other strong drugs that doctors typically prescribe did nothing for me. Like so many others, my doctor was seriously considering the last resort – surgery. At about that time, I came across a study that described how researchers had either considerably helped or completely cured sufferers with probiotics. This, I thought, was certainly an option for me. Although my doctor was ecstatic about the possibilities that the study presented, he said that he couldn’t prescribe probiotics until further testing had been done.
Hold on a minute. I totally get the idea of thoroughly testing a product before it goes on the market. But, this is natural bacteria that already lives in our digestive tract and has the sole purpose of keeping that tract healthy. What’s the problem here? When my doctor wouldn’t budge from his position, I decided to cheat and see a naturopath. The first thing she described was a dose of pure probiotics. (Just a word of warning – there are so many brands on the market, don’t start using any until you talk to a professional.) Seriously, within three weeks of following her program, all of the complications I’d been suffering disappeared.
I really do think that the work the researchers do is extremely important. But, it certainly pays to keep an open mind, doesn’t it?
So far, the money that M&M Meat Shops has helped to raise by spearheading this event over the last 22 years has contributed to establishing the CCFC IBD Research Institute, launching the Genetic, Environmental and Microbial factors project and helping Canadian researchers become world-recognized leaders in the search for a cure.