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World IBD Day, led by patient organizations representing 36 countries on four continents, is officially celebrated on May 19.

Patient groups from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, 28 European nations, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and the United States are working together to raise awareness of IBD.

IBD, which stands for inflammatory bowel disease, is comprised of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — two serious, chronic digestive diseases that affect five million people worldwide (1.4 million in the US alone, and 2.2 million in Europe alone). Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis directly affect the digestive system and cause intestinal tissue to become inflamed, form sores and bleed easily. 

There is no cure, no known cause, and little public understanding of the pain and chronic suffering with which IBD patients courageously cope every day of their lives.

This year World IBD Day is coordinated by EFCCA with the financial support provided by a multisponsor platform including AbbVIe, Shire, Ferring, Janssen and MSD.