Welcome! We Are a Patient-To-Patient Support Community for People Living with Crohn’s and Colitis

Our mission at LifeWithCrohnsColitis.org is to ensure that patients living with Crohns and Colitis, as well as their caregivers, family, and friends, have a safe and supportive place to connect with others like them.

LifeWithCrohnsColitis.org is part of Ben’s Friends, a network of safe and supportive patient communities for anyone affected by a rare disease or chronic condition. Recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Ben’s Friends is a grassroots organization run by patients for patients. It is not a top-down, “expert advice” experience but a community offering peer to peer support. The value of this approach is evidenced by our hundred volunteer moderators, who are either patients themselves or relatives of patients, who believe in the mission and are willing to invest their time and share the knowledge and insights they have gained with members arriving daily in need of help. Ben’s Friends considers the patient perspective in everything we do.

Focused on Patient Support
There are some amazing non-profit organizations all around the world doing fantastic work to raise awareness, raise money, and provide medical information to patients, friends, and family. We decided to complement their work, rather then duplicate. Therefore, we chose to concentrate all of our efforts on learning how to create and run compassionate, responsive patient communities.

Our communities have proved a valuable guide for members seeking to understand their diagnosis, symptoms, and their treatment options. Ben’s Friends provides a friendly environment that allows for bonding. Many a lifelong friendship has been forged on our communities. But most of all, Ben’s Friends is successful because it changes our members’ relationships with their disease. “I have the disease; it doesn’t have me” is a mantra often repeated by members, as they gently guide each other toward effective coping mechanisms and enable our patients to live the fullest lives possible.

Why Rare Diseases?
Global Genes reports that 350 million people worldwide suffer from a rare disease, with an estimated 30 million in the U.S. and an additional 30 million in Europe. So, while each separate disease is rare, being a rare disease patient is not. In fact, 10% of the population in the U.S. is living with a rare disease. There are over 7,000 types of rare diseases, from the extremely rare (only a few documented cases worldwide) to the “common” rare diseases (about 350 conditions, covering 85% of rare disease patients). When factoring in patients with chronic conditions, which may need the same type of emotional support and community fellowship as rare disease patients, the demand for online patient support communities is limitless and bounded only by our own resource constraints and capacity.

Want to learn more about Crohn’s and Colitis disease?

Is your family or friend affected with Crohn’s or Colitis?
What kind of disease is this? What food diet fits Crohn’s or Colitis patients?

Visit Crohn’s/Colitis 101
Read about what causes Crohn’s/Colitis disease, who gets Crohn’s, and how can one cope with the chronic condition

LATEST DISCUSSIONS

  • Ben’s Friends Communities Provide Warmth and Friendship during…
    by benmunoz on November 24, 2022 at 8:35 am

    Sascha Gallardo – May 21, 2020 COVID-19 forced millions of people worldwide to stay at home. Governments imposed measures such as physical distancing, stay-at-home, and total lockdown to contain the disease as it spread from China to the rest of the world. While these steps aimed to keep people safe from the virus, the isolation has also caused […]

  • Spotlight on Our ModSupport Member: Sharon a.k.a Stoney
    by benmunoz on November 24, 2022 at 2:59 am

    Sascha Gallardo – June 4, 2020 Providing a safe and supportive community for patients is our top priority at Ben’s Friends. We want members to freely ask questions, share opinions, and express emotions without having to worry about inappropriate reactions from others. And this has always been possible because of members who voluntarily devote […]

  • Spotlight: Ben’s Friends former Intern, Dr. Melissa Jones, MD
    by benmunoz on November 17, 2022 at 5:31 am

    Sascha Gallardo – June 15, 2020 The patients who visit our sites have tons of questions on their mind related to their symptoms, which clinic to visit, the medications they are taking, and the treatment procedures they will undergo. They want a space to find answers as well as comfort from people who truly care. The Ben’s Friends team, on the […]

  • Ben’s Friends inks partnership with ClozTalk
    by benmunoz on November 8, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Sascha Gallardo – July 1, 2020 We’re excited to announce that Ben’s Friends has partnered with ClozTalk, a social impact company that helps charities raise people’s awareness of their mission. ClozTalk now designs apparel like t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets with the logo of Ben’s Friends. As more people get to know our organization […]

  • Rare Disease Diagnosis: Difficulties and Advancements
    by benmunoz on November 3, 2022 at 2:58 am

    Sascha Gallardo – August 31, 2020 Delays in getting an accurate diagnosis for a rare disease is very common. Patients would visit a physician, present their symptoms, and then they would be told there is nothing wrong with them. They’d visit another one, would be referred to a specialist, and then get some tests done only to go back to square […]