I'm on the CCFA mailing list, although I admittedly pay it (or any of the other mailing lists I'm on) much mind. However, I was glancing at the most recent blast, inviting people to share their stories to compete in the IBD Icon contest (a play on American Idol, I suppose). Here's an excerpt that raised my eyebrows:
"IBD Icons are any of the 1.4 million Americans living with Crohn's or colitis who pursue their dreams without giving in to their disease."
So first off, as someone who loathes competition, I'm not keen on turning one's illness into a contest. But beyond that I really take issue with the phrase "without giving in to their disease." It's not like we get a say in the severity of illness we each experience and how it impacts our lives. The option of "give in or don't" usually isn't an actual option. Don't get me wrong, I think it's wonderful to encourage people to follow their dreams despite the obstacles of a chronic illness, but sometimes you can't NOT give into being debilitatingly sick. I don't feel it's right to put people in a position to feel worse about themselves because they're too ill to participate in something, or have not yet gotten to a point of remission where they can continue to pursue their dreams. What if a patient's dream at present is to simply get better? That's not a lesser dream, FYI.