Photo source: Casey Abrams 8/24/2013 #5 by Justin Higuchi (flickr)
Casey Abrams is a young man who suffers from ulcerative colitis. He is also the Season 10 American Idol finalist, and in 2011 he was hospitalized while singing in the famous competition because of a flare of his ulcerative colitis. Though he had to suffer through some very serious health issues, Casey managed to earn a spot on the 2011 Idol Live summer concert tour. He was one of only 11 finalists to make it into this coveted group of talented performers.
A new campaign seeks to promote awareness of IBD by highlighting personal stories
To highlight personal stories such as Casey’s, and celebrate the achievements these wonderful young adults have made, Janssen Biotech partnered up with both Casey and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of American to launch IBD Icons, which is a campaign promoting awareness for inflammatory bowel disease. The program is centered around a nation-wide search to find "IBD Icons". "IBD Icons" are people living with inflammatory bowel disease who have stories of personal achievements, just like Casey.
Casey Abrams himself is also an "IBD Icon"
Casey is an exceptional IBD Icon. he shared his experience living with ulcerative colitis and spoke at local events to tell his story. His charisma and endearing personality touched everyone he met. He was very personable, always shaking hands with every person he met, sometimes even sharing a hug.
There was a tremendous response to Casey and the Icons program back in 2011. In light of the success, Casey made a youtube video, shaving his signature beard in the name of awareness for the condition and the campaign. The video ended up getting tons of views and went viral!
Casey refuses to let his disease slow him down, but rather, he has taken on the role of spokesperson to help other patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. He wants to inspire hope and inspiration in people who are suffering from the condition. This talented musician is a strong individual who has not only shared his personal story but has also written an original song about inflammatory bowel disease. Casey has helped the inflammatory bowel disease community by raising awareness to the public so more people can understand what it's like to suffer from such a condition.
Casey used his talents to help the campaign
Using his musical talents, Casey has put his songwriting skills to the task of helping raise awareness for Crohn's and colitis. There's even an original music video to go along with it! The song is called "Chip on Your Shoulder". Casey had written the song inspired by his own experience suffering from ulcerative colitis. He has also been inspired by the many stories shared by other "IBD Icons".
We need to help raise awareness of Crohn's and colitis and inspire people who suffer from the disease to seek support. People like Casey Abrams are great examples of young role models out there who are reaching out to the inflammatory bowel disease community. He has been actively promoting his new song about the disease and even called for fans to spread the word. Despite suffering from a painful condition riddled by humiliating symptoms, Casey still works hard to achieve his dreams and perform his musical talents. He won't stop doing what he loves despite the fact that he has a chronic, incurable disease.
"Chip on Your Shoulder" can be viewed when you sign up as an IBD Icons fan.
Now that you know that this talented singer has written an original song about his experience, you absolutely have to see it for yourself. To see Casey's music video, you have to go to the IBD Icons website first. There, you can sign up to become a fan by registering with an email. The video will then be sent via a link to the registered email so you can listen to Casey's song and watch the music video.
Collaboration with Janssen Biotech
Turns out there's quite a bit of funding behind Casey's music to promote inflammatory bowel disease. Janssen Biotech plans to help Casey's promotional efforts and encourage fans to watch the song by donating a dollar to every fan that signs up. They will be donating these funds to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America for a total sum of up to $10 000. The money will be directly supporting the foundation's active efforts to improve the lives of people living with Crohn's or colitis. Imagine being a young adult, just starting college and making new friends. In between the midterm exams, weekend parties, dorm room chatter, and new friends, the last thing any young college student wants to think about is going to the doctor.
Young adults and IBD
Over 1.4 million people in the United States suffer from Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. Most cases were diagnosed as young adults between the ages of 15 and 30. Adolescence and early adulthood is a time when you are just learning about the world and how you fit in it. Throwing in a painful and chronic condition like inflammatory bowel disease impacts the confidence and psychological well-being of young adults even more so than older adults.
Having inflammatory bowel disease impacts a young person's life very much. It can cause painful and sometimes embarrassing symptoms that keep a young person from engaging in the normal activities that other college kids are doing. Some might be forced to give up beloved hobbies or activities they have enjoyed their whole lives. All these limitations can really decrease the quality of life, leading to more rates of depression and other mental health issues.
Many patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's dread going to the doctor for advice.
Because of the embarrassing nature of the symptoms, many young people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease are reluctant to talk with their healthcare providers. Instead, some people turn to social media or online resources for more information on how to cope with the illness. For this reason, inflammatory bowel disease does not have much awareness, and people suffering from the condition often don't seek the help that they need.