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Each year on May 19, people around the world come together to recognize those living with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) for World IBD Day, an annual global initiative sponsored by the European Federation of Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA). Designed to raise awareness of the aspects of IBD that are often misunderstood and not seen by the public, this year’s annual initiative is recognizing the courage it takes to live life with one of these diseases through the theme “making the invisible visible.”

Living with chronic inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract like IBD can have a significant effect on work, family and social activities.[i] Symptoms can include chronic diarrhea with blood and mucus, abdominal pain and cramping, and weight loss.[ii] Unfortunately, many patients settle for suboptimal control and a life profoundly impacted by ongoing symptoms.[iii],[iv]

At Pfizer, we are inspired by those who are working to address the many facets of these complex diseases, like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). That’s why on World IBD Day Pfizer colleagues are shining a light on the “invisible heroes” of the IBD community who encourage, educate and empower each other: the caregivers who recognize the physical and emotional impacts of these inflammatory diseases; the advocates who strive for change; and most importantly, the patients who lift each other up and don’t let their disease define them. 

Watch this video from Noj Chauhan, Pfizer I&I Global, and Natalie Tennyson, Pfizer I&I Ireland, to hear firsthand how they are inspired day-in and day-out by the “invisible heroes” of the IBD community. 



[i] Knowles SR, et al. Controversies Revisited: A Systematic Review of the Comorbidity of Depression and Anxiety with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2016;22(3):752-62

[ii] Hanauer SB. Inflammatory bowel disease. N Engl J Med. 1996;334(13):841-8.

[iii] Mehta F. Report: Economic Implications of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Its Management. American Journal of Managed Care. 2016

[iv] Sandborn W. Advances in IBD: The Present and Future of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016. 438-441