Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Every Little Bit Counts

“Really the Santa Claus Parade?- Can I be in the parade with you?” My friend (we’ll call Bonnie) exclaimed. My other friend (we’ll call her Ruth) chimed in coinciding excitement for the idea. I was taken aback by Bonnie’s question and Ruth’s enthusiasm- I had not expected my friends to want to come in the parade with me to spread awareness about the CCFC. I was happy that my friends would support me in my en devour. It felt good that they would be there for me.

On the morning of the parade, my friends and I were getting ready for the parade. Ruth asked about what we should be wearing. She stated that she didn’t even really know what Crohn’s and Colitis were. Maybe she should just wear a diabetes shirt since at least she knew what that was. I was somewhat shocked, I had thought that they knew about what I had.

Since being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis just over 17 months ago, right before I was supposed to begin my second year of university, I have thought myself pretty open about sharing about my issues with my gut. I got sick while working at summer camp, and couldn’t return to school in the fall. I had no choice but to tell my friends what I had, as they all wanted to know what the matter was with me. I was pretty open about it. I didn’t want to -and couldn’t- keep it a secret. After a while I kind of took it for granted that my friends knew what I have and stopped talking about it as much. I thought that they would ask questions about it. I internally prided myself on being so open about it. I thought that I was conquering the old not talking about what happens in the bathroom thing.

Ruth’s comment made me rethink my claim that my friends were educated about my disease. I told her that crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases and other basic facts about it. Then I was saying that basically what happens to me is that when I flare, I tend to poop out blood. Immediately she told me to stop and that she didn’t want to know anymore. Knowing that it affected the bowels was enough for her.

Bonnie and Ruth walked alongside me in the parade, handing out candy to children. They had a good time- I had been worried about it after Ruth’s comment. I nonchalantly told them as Mac Voisin shook their hands- at the beginning of the day- (as he was sitting on the float for the parade) that he owned M&M Meat Shops. They didn’t think anything of it until Mac was telling us the story of the first day he opened the first M&M Meat Shop Store. My friends hadn’t realized that I meant he was the founder of M&M Meats. They were pretty impressed to have met him and his passion for the organization and the cause. We were all overwhelmed when he gave us gift cards to thank US for being in the parade.

Even though my friends didn’t want to know much about my ulcerative colitis, it still brings a smile to my face months later to think that they took the time to be in the parade with me. I am happy that they supported me. I think that every one only wants to know so much. Peoples’ support for me will be shown in some way or other. I just need to remember that each person has their limits and will do what they can. It felt really good to volunteer with my friends for the local CCFC chapter and to educate them through doing something. Every little bit counts right?

- Susie
YAC Southwestern Ontario Representative


  1. I never really thought of it until now, but my friends probably don't know as much about Crohn's as I thought they did. I've been suffering from Crohn's since 2007 and never really did say much about it to my friends. I'm from a small town so everyone knows that I have crohn's, but I don't think they realize how serious it is. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. I am really happy that you appreciated my story and could relate to it. Thank you so much for your comment.