Montreal fundraiser for inflammatory bowel disease research breaks record

"We're at least 30 or 35 percent over previous years," says Ryan Abrams, co-chair of the McGill IBD Research Group. The group held a fundraiser event on Thursday to raise money for inflammatory bowel disease research. Swidda Rassy reports.

By Swidda Rassy

The McGill IBD Research Group and Montreal General Hospital held their annual fundraising event for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research on Thursday, breaking previous fundraising records, according to the group’s co-chairs.

The fundraising target was set at $380,000, but Ryan Abrams and Matthew Stotland, co-chairs of the McGill IBD Research Group, say they surpassed that goal by at least 35 per cent.

“It really surpasses previous records,” said Stotland.

“We’re really excited…the next step is to decide how to better provide care for patients next year,” said Abrams.

Abrams, who was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease at the age of 10, says more research needs to be done on the disease.

“IBD patients, we need a lot of care. A lot of blood tests, a lot of medical imaging, and to have those extra nurses at the hospital to provide support for us is completely essential,” said Abrams.

The event took place at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood in Montreal. The soirée showcased a night of comedy as well, featuring Montreal-born comedian Sugar Sammy and Quebec media personality Marini Orsini as emcee.

The money raised will benefit patient care at the IBD clinics in the McGill teaching hospitals – the MUHC IBD Centre at the Montreal General Hospital, and the IBD clinics at the Montreal Children’s and Jewish General Hospitals.

Additionally, the group wants to hire a new part-time nurse for the IBD clinic at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. The nurse will improve the quality of care provided to the IBD pediatric population.

“We fund extra nurses and psychologists that the government wouldn’t otherwise provide, and it really improves patient care for people with Crohn’s like myself,” said Abrams.

The event also honoured Dr. Albert Cohen, Chief of Gastroenterology at the Jewish General Hospital, who received the Dr. Ernest Seidman Award in IBD Excellence.

“I am so grateful,” said Dr. Cohen.

Dr. Cohen says Dr. Seidman was one of his mentors while he was a resident. He says receiving this award was an honour.

“To have this recognition from your peers is very gratifying,” said Dr. Cohen.

November also marks Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month. According to Dr. Cohen, Canada has one of the highest incidence rates of IBD, which consists of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

According to the press release, it is estimated that there are approximately 27,000 people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis in the Greater Montreal region.

“We haven’t found a cure for the disease,” said Dr. Cohen. “We are not done looking for the best treatment yet.”

Dr. Albert Cohen, recipient of the Dr. Ernest Seidman Award in IBD Excellence. (Photo Credit: Swidda Rassy)
Dr. Albert Cohen, recipient of the Dr. Ernest Seidman Award in IBD Excellence. (Photo Credit: Swidda Rassy)

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today