This is a huge breakthru!!! There are so many people out there dealing with crohns that no one knows what they are dealing with due to no recognition of this disease. I personally had no one that knew anything about it until I went on myspace and found other crohn's sufferers.
The CONGRESSMAN FRANK PALLONE, JR.Sixth District of New JerseyFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Andrew Souvall August 4, 2008 (202) 225-4671PALLONE INTRODUCES LEGISLATION INSTRUCTING POSTAL SERVICE TO ISSUE STAMP PROMOTING AWARENESS OF CROHN'S DISEASEInspired by Highland Park resident's struggle with the diseaseWashington, D.C. --- Inspired by the story of a Highland Park resident fighting Crohn's disease, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) last week introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives directing the Postmaster General to issue a commemorative postage stamp to promote public awareness of Crohn's disease.Crohn's disease, also referred to as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), is a chronic and painful intestinal disorder that affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans. Crohn's disease is believed to be an autoimmune disorder caused when a person's immune system is unable to recognize certain proteins. The result is a severely inflamed digestive tract as the immune system fights off what it sees as abnormal proteins. While the cause and cure of Crohn's is still unknown, current evidence suggests that genetic, bacterial and environmental factors may contribute to the development of Crohn's disease.Pallone became involved in the IBD awareness campaign eight years ago after receiving a letter from and later meeting with 16-year-old Gideon Sofer. Gideon told Pallone how his weight dropped to less than 45 pounds at the age of 12 before doctors properly diagnosed his condition. Gideon emphasized just how little is really known about the disease.Since then, Pallone has worked with Gideon, now 24 years old, in his personal struggles to finish his schooling and in his efforts to found the IBD Cure Foundation, an organization that is working to raise awareness of Crohn's disease."Gideon's story is truly inspiring and since meeting with him years ago, this battle for Crohn's awareness has struck a personal chord with me," Pallone said. "Gideon has refused to let this disease stop him from reaching his goals and has strived to improve the lives of the millions of others affected by Crohn's.""During one of my initial hospitalizations, I thought about the breast cancer, HIV, and other awareness stamps that had been issued," Gideon writes on his Web site. "I thought to myself at that very moment, maybe one day, there could be a Crohn's stamp."The U.S. Postal Service has a history of shedding light on serious diseases in critical need of awareness. The Breast Cancer semi-postal research stamp, first introduced in 1998, has now raised over $60 million for research and has since become the best-selling stamp in United States history."Awareness is the most critical step in battling any disease, but particularly one like Crohn's, which is seldom discussed in public," Gideon said. "What most Americans don't realize is the immeasurable impact these types of stamps have. The Postal Service really has a quiet way of initiating massive change.""Despite affecting so many Americans, Crohn's is too often misdiagnosed, leaving many individuals to suffer with an unknown disease," Pallone said. "It is my hope that a postage stamp would help educate the public and the medical community about this debilitating disease."It is estimated that of the 110 Americans diagnosed with IBD every day, at least one-third are adolescents. Crohn's disease affects approximately 100,000 children under the age of 18 and has been detected in babies only several months old. Up to three-quarters of children diagnosed with Crohn's disease will require one or more operations to remove permanently damaged tissue in the intestines.
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