Crohn's will always bring about a change in the quality of life, but recent studies are painting a picture for a more hopeful future. Medical research funding is critical, and raising funds presents a challenge in the current economic environment.
"It's not a matter of if we find cures; it's a matter of when, and that's determined by available funding," said Richard Geswell, president of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America.
The foundation is the largest voluntary nonprofit health organization dedicated to finding cures for inflammatory bowel diseases, a classification that includes Crohn's and colitis. It is one source of funding for studies across the country and has chapters nationwide.
The foundation's website allows patients to become part of online study groups by sharing their symptoms, progress and complications. This allows the patient to develop an understanding of his or her individual case, and allows the foundation to have access to more patient histories for use in its research.