The new Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America’s ad is one that I find to be a bit controversial. I do believe I am in the minority with this opinion but I do want to spend a little time explaining why I am not a big advocate of the CCFA’s new ad. I want to say for the record that this is not a reflection on the CCFA as a whole and I do hope that anyone who reads this post does truly understand that. It is merely my opinion about a campaign relating to a disease that has impacted my life in ways so near and dear to me that I feel a strong desire to speak up about it.
The CCFA’s new ad campaign is called “Escape the Stall” (www.ccfa.org/escapethestall/). I believe one of the biggest voices of this ad is an IBD sufferer and a well known actress, Amy Brenneman’ whom I love from Private Practice and who some of you might know from NYPD Blue and Judging Amy.
This ad is supposed to show the public that you never know who in your life has a form of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or crohns disease). This ad is supposed to bring these devastating diseases out of the darkness and into the daylight. I would like to believe that the intent behind this ad is to take some of the shame of living with a chronic illness that revolves around bathroom issues. After all, “escape the stall” does have a nice ring to it and to be honest it did make me laugh when I first heard it.
Here is my issue. Ulcerative colitis and crohns disease are NOTHING TO LAUGH ABOUT! These illnesses are devastating. These diseases are torturous. IBD is heartbreaking in so many ways. So why are we making light of it? Yes, I understand that adding a little humor to a serious situation can help sometimes. But not in this case! In this case what this ad campaign is doing is taking what is already in the majority of people’s minds which is that IBD is no more severe than a stomach bug, and reinforcing it. I know with all my heart and soul the amazing people who came up with this campaign didn’t intend to do that…obviously. But it does.
I am still waiting to see some pictures of IBD patients at their worst. Why are we so afraid to show people what people suffering from ulcerative colitis or crohns disease REALLY go through? If I had any pictures of me really suffering I would blast them all over the internet myself so the public could take a good hard look at what these diseases can do to a person. We have no issues as a society seeing pictures and videos of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and therefore, we as a culture understand how truly devastating being stricken with cancer is.
Why are we as a community so afraid to show the world what patients suffering from IBD really go through? It’s great to make poop and bathroom jokes but enough is enough. Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis are not funny. The public is so uneducated as it is.
So I ask you…. as advocates…as a foundation who is trying to bring about education and awareness to the public…as people who are trying to make life easier for those who are struggling…Why are we making light of it?
Check out my friend Sara’s blog as she has a lot to say on this topic as well http://www.inflamed-and-untamed.com/post/40183224070/we-react-to-the-new-ccfa-ad-campaign