IBD Patient Walk: A Gathering of Community

Last month, Team uBiome attended SF Take Steps, a fundraising walk hosted by and benefiting the Northern California Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. While the walk successfully raised money for the hosting organization, it also served as a community-building event for people in the Bay Area who have been affected by irritable bowel disease (IBD).

By 11 am on Saturday morning, a crowd of patients, family members, friends, healthcare professionals, service workers, and sponsors gathered in support of individuals suffering from IBD, including patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. We were so inspired by the outpouring of community support and connected with visitors who wanted to better understand the role the microbiome may play in IBD.

During the opening program, a speaker asked for everyone who had been diagnosed with IBD to come to the front of the stage and stand in order of how many years it had been since diagnosis. Nearly two dozen individuals faced the audience, some of whom had been enduring their condition for longer than two decades.

The SF Take Steps event did not just provide crucial financial support to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the premier IBD patient advocacy organization that funds IBD research and support services for patients and their families. It also allowed those suffering from this often isolating disease the opportunity to connect with and expand their community. The walk enabled each patient’s community to rally behind the people they love, reinforcing their bonds. It also fostered new relationships between fellow patients, caregivers, and community members.

Team uBiome is grateful to be a part of that community of care. We were honored to meet patients and their families, listen to their stories, and walk with the couple hundred attendees on that bright spring day.