The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America Launches New Superhero Program Targeted at Increasing Pediatric Patient Awareness and Education

Aug 11, 2015, 09:07 ET from The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

NEW YORK, Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), in partnership with K'NEX, will launch "Be an IBD Superhero" this fall, a youth fundraising program dedicated to increasing awareness and education for pediatric patients living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Funds raised will directly impact the mission to find a cure for IBD and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.

Be an IBD Superhero is the first program in the country to bring IBD resources directly to school systems and youth programs, avenues where children are spending the majority of their day. The program encourages understanding of chronic illness and physical wellness for students of all ages. IBD educational resources will inform teachers, staff, and fellow classmates how they can support our youngest pediatric patients. Children living with IBD are empowered to discuss their own specific needs with teachers and staff, leading to improvements in their growth and development in and out of the classroom.

With nearly one in every 200 people suffering from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, there is likely a pediatric patient in almost every school. The fastest growing population of Crohn's & Colitis patients in the United States is children under the age of 18 and diagnosis for some is coming as young as 6 months. IBD awareness and education in our school systems are critical to support our pediatric patients.  "The best ways we can empower our pediatric IBD patients is to provide them the resources they need to be effective partners with their healthcare team and to demystify IBD by increasing awareness within our society," says Sandra C. Kim, M.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

K'NEX, the leading creative construction toy company, has partnered with Take Steps as a National Sponsor, dedicated to helping CCFA achieve its mission. K'NEX understands the necessity of this program for our youth and is dedicated to bringing attention to children living with IBD. "We are honored to be able to help this tremendous organization expand their reach to the pediatric population," said Michael Araten, K'NEX President & CEO. "With over 1.6 million people, including over 80,000 children, suffering from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, we are thrilled to partner with the Crohn's and Colitis Foundations education programs."

In addition to financially sponsoring this program, K'NEX will be providing an educational building set to the TOP fundraising school or youth program in each market and ALL participating schools or youth programs will be eligible for a $25 credit for every $500 raised toward their very own K'NEX educational set. "The partnership with K'NEX has opened up so many doors for Take Steps and CCFA," says Sherry Rosenfeld. "By introducing IBD awareness and education to school systems, patients are going to receive the support they need and deserve." To learn more about the IBD Superhero program, visit

About Take Steps
Take Steps is the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's national walk program.  These walks raise funds for critical research and increase awareness of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, painful and unpredictable digestive diseases.  Thousands of people will gather this year in more than 140 communities across the country.  Our walks are family friendly festivals with activities for everyone including games, music, and great food.  Funds raised through Take Steps will help transform the lives of those impacted by these diseases, and support CCFA's critical research, education, and patient support programs.  Walk with us today: get started at

About CCFA
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit, call 888-694-8872, like us on Facebook, find us on LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter.

About K'NEX
Founded in 1992, K'NEX Brands, the world's most innovative construction toy company, was established to make and sell what has become one of the world's leading integrated construction systems for children, and is America's STEM building solution. Winner of over 270 international awards and recognitions, K'NEX is focused on Building Worlds Kids Love® and encourages youngsters to "imagine, build and play." From the living room to the classroom, K'NEX has building toys specially designed for every age group and skill level. 

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SOURCE The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America