Patient Education, Support and Advocacy: Salix Pharmaceuticals

Note: I was compensated by Salix Pharmaceuticals for this post. However, all opinions are my own.

I try to stay on top of what’s going on to help raise money and awareness for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). As a blogger and advocate for the IBD world, it’s part of my job to make sure I’m reading up on who’s helping us and how, so that we can support their efforts in return. It’s especially great when pharmaceutical companies take the reins and help our community in more ways than just creating and selling the medicine we need to survive. Salix Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world, has gone above and beyond to provide patients and families with educational materials, community events to participate in, and more!

What’s the “more,” you might ask? Well, read on and I’m happy to share with you!

Salix knows that there will “always be new patients with new therapeutic needs.” As IBD patients and advocates, we can relate to the “always” in that mission statement. As patients, it seems like we are always prepared to try the next medication, or are taking time to learn about what’s available to us via research trials. All of this is positive, because it means we are that much closer to finding a cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Salix continues to contribute to the hopefulness of the IBD community by working alongside patients, healthcare professionals, and educational organizations in the ongoing pursuit of life-changing gastroenterology healthcare.

Recently, Salix has partnered with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF) in awareness efforts and has done a fantastic job of doing so. They were sponsors of World IBD Day on May 19th of this year and encouraged patients from all around the country to share their story in an effort to be #IBDvisible. The CCF and Salix know that IBD patients are social media experts (am I biased?), so they gave us the creative outlet to show off our skills!

As expected, the campaign received an inspiring influx of support from the IBD community and is displayed on the CCF website. You can check out patients’ stories, Twitter feeds, a video chat, graphics to download, share on your social media, and more by clicking here. You can even put yourself on the World IBD Day map!

Salix didn’t stop there.

Take Steps is one of the biggest fundraising efforts in the world for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Salix has partnered with the CCF for community walks across the U.S. through September in major cities like Chicago, Dallas, and Boston. Of course, there are walks in smaller cities as well. If you haven’t participated in a Take Steps walk before, I strongly encourage you to do so.

The vibe at Take Steps walks is empowering and uplifting. You can see with your own eyes that you are not alone, which is an important fact to know when you are living with IBD. You are never alone. There are so many people out there that are willing to share their story with you, mentor, or comfort you. Trying to deal with these diseases on your own is an impossible feat. For me, being diagnosed with IBD became less daunting when I found my IBD circle.

Grab your family and friends and sign up for a walk near you! Your team can raise funds and the CCF will keep track of everything for you right on their website. It’s easy (and fun), so there’s really no excuse not to. Plus, when you fundraise through Take Steps, you directly impact vital treatment, research, and life-giving patient programs for the 1.6 million Americans who suffer from Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. To sum it up – your participation in your local Take Steps walk could help find your cure.

Don’t forget to share your experience at your Take Steps walk via social media by using the hashtag #TakeSteps.

Keeping yourself informed is the best way to become your own advocate. Attending events that are led by experts is an excellent way to be involved in conversations that are changing the lives of patients living with IBD. To stay in the loop of when educational events are happening, keep the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation event list bookmarked on your computer. Salix will be hosting Live Education Series Events across the U.S. to inform the general public, patients, and caregivers about IBD.

These educational events will take place through October in major cities, such as Los Angeles, Houston, and Phoenix. Keep your eye out for an event near you, or make sure to alert your friend or family member if there’s an event near them. You can take a look at the upcoming Live Education Series Events by clicking here.

Are you planning in participating in a Take Steps walk this year? Interested in attending a Live Education Series Event? Let the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and Salix (@SalixPharma) know by tagging us in your posts (you can tag me on Twitter @brklynbouncer). If you’re at a Take Steps walk, be sure to use the #TakeSteps hashtag.

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