Thanksgiving Fund

The Thanksgiving Fund originated during WWII and supports an external cause elected by Members. Members contribute funds voluntarily through money raised by branches and / or groups through donations or fundraising.

2017 Crohn's and Colitis

2016 Stroke Health Professional Online Portal – National Stroke Foundation

2015 Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation Victoria

2014 The Forgotten Cancers Project

2013 Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Research Trust

2012 Garvan Research Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Network

2011 Heart Kids

2010 Skin Cancer Foundation

Crohn’s and Colitis Australia is the recipient of our Thanksgiving Fund 2017.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In each condition the lining of one or more parts of the gastrointestinal tract become inflamed.

Sometimes people get confused between IBD and irritable bowel syndrome

(IBS). The two conditions are quite different, and so are their treatments. IBD is a chronic condition treatable through drug therapy…. and currently there is no cure.

Symptoms can include several or some of the following: pain in the abdomen, weight loss, diarrhoea (sometimes withblood and mucous) tiredness, fever, mouth ulcers, nausea and vomiting, pain passing a bowel motion, swollen joints, inflamed eyes, skin rashes or jaundice. The symptoms and their severity vary from person to person and may flare up or improve over time.

So you can see this is a particularly debilitating disease which can strike at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed in people aged 15–30 years, and is equally common in both men and women.

More than 61,000 Australians have IBD and this figure continues to rise. Despite much research, the exact cause of IBD is still unknown. Some scientists believe IBD may be due to a defect in the body’s immune system, while others believe that bacteria or even viruses play a role. Relatives of people with IBD have a slightly greater risk of developing the condition. Stress or diet are not thought to cause IBD. There is no evidence that ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease is contagious.

Most people require medication to reduce the inflammation, promote healing and keep the disease in remission. New therapy is offering hope to patients who fail to respond adequately to traditional medication and surgery may also be necessary for some people with IBD.

Although there can be difficulties in effectively managing the disease at times, having IBD should be no barrier to leading a normal life. Many people with IBD still lead useful and productive lives.

Current medical therapy has helped to improve the quality of life of people with IBD.

There is good reason to believe that research underway today will lead to further improvements in medical and surgical treatment. Appropriate education, counselling and psychological support can greatly assist people to live with IBD, to stay positive and motivated about achieving desired treatment goals and to get support when they need it.


Source: Crohn’s and Colitis Australia brochure: ‘Introductory Guide to inflammatory bowel disease and where you can turn to for more information and support’.