COLUMBUS—The Ohio House today passed House Bill 260, sponsored by State Representative Bill Blessing (R-Colerain). H.B. 260 designates the first week of December as “Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week” to raise awareness of these serious conditions.

Nationwide, 1.6 million Americans have a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, according to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Of these 1.6 million, 700,000 have Crohn’s and 700,000 have Colitis. Between the ages of 15-35 mainly, men and women equally are finding out that they have Crohn’s or Colitis. Additionally, 70,000 new cases are added in the United States every year, while the number of children being diagnosed is also climbing. Currently there are 80,000 children suffering from one of these diseases.

“It is important to raise awareness for these diseases and help to remove the stigma that they come with. Crohn’s and Colitis affect more than just the person’s intestines, they affect every aspect of their lives. People with invisible illnesses are fighters and should not be made to feel as they are anything but due to something beyond their control.”

Crohn’s and Colitis are both inflammatory bowel diseases that cause severe symptoms including pain, persistent diarrhea, urgency, bleeding, and fever. Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the digestive tract leading to swelling and irritation. Although Crohn’s affects people differently in the digestive tract, it mainly targets the end part of the small intestine. Another inflammatory bowel disease, Colitis, affects the large intestine (Colon) causing swelling.

The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate, where it will receive further consideration.

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