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News to Digest, December 2012

  • All We Accomplished in 2012 + Photo Slideshow
  • Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week Recap
  • Call to Artists
  • Volunteer Spotlight Simranjit Bedi
  • Arkon JCC Family Wellness Expo

Chapter Director’s Note

Lesley professional photo A.jpg 

As the air outside becomes crisp and we brace for another Northeast Ohio winter, we all know that the holiday season is here!  2012 has been filled with many positive changes and some inspiring events that have really set CCFA up for even greater success in 2013. People like you who make financial contributions, volunteer your time, and bring public awareness to our mission have inspired us.  We applaud what you do each and every day. Click here for a photo slideshow commemorating all we’ve accomplished together in 2012!

We held four educational seminars this year including Ask the Experts in Independence, Understanding IBD in Akron and then in Youngstown, IBD Treatments held in Akron, and finally the Nutrition program in Beachwood. No is the time to mark your calendar for the annual Ask the Experts program coming up on March 16, 2013. Details on three additional programs coming soon! This year, we were thrilled to launch our third support group! CCFA now has volunteer-led support groups in Akron, Concord, and Bay Village. To learn more or connect with a support group leader, visit and click on the link to the left for ‘Support Groups’. Volunteers, interns, and staff made 113 visits to gastroenterologist offices – to deliver materials for patients and staff. December 1-7, we marked the second annual Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week.  We’re grateful to everyone who helped raise awareness and funds by participating in our stunts, Power Calling, and making financial contributions!

Our Team Challenge and Take Steps programs continued to build momentum and attract new supporters in 2012.  This year, walkers and runners joined us to train for the Virginia Wine Country and Las Vegas Rock n Roll half marathons with the support of Coaches Jennifer and Craig plus Endurance Manager Lindsey Boyd! In 2013, Team Challenge will sprint to Chicago in the spring, Nashville in the Summer, and jaunt to the finish line in Las Vegas again next winter!  Contact Lindsey to get involved: Take Steps reached new heights raising $207,000 thanks to the work of Local Heroes Danny Wilbur and Aislinn Frazier, plus Walk Manager Caitlin Randall! In the new year, we will hold the Cleveland walk on June 23 and then in Akron in October. To learn more and sign up, contact Caitlin:

We gathered for two special events to raise funds for cures. In August, we celebrated 25th Anniversary Golf Tournament, honoring Bill Sopko and the entire Sopko family for their 15+ years of support! We are grateful for the continued support and guidance of the Golf Committee led by Rob Edelstein and Phil Moshier. Next year’s event will take place August 19 at Chagrin Valley Country Club. To learn more or join the committee, contact me at This past May, we introduced a festive new event; VIVA! Cinco de Mayo, hosted by Cari and Eric Marderstein.  It was an overwhelming success with more than 200 of Northeast Ohio’s philanthropists, up and comers, physicians, patients, and friends enjoying remarks from Dr. Jon Braun of UCLA (Immediate Past CCFA National Scientific Advisory Committee Chairman) gourmet food stations, wine tastings, signature tequila cocktail, live and silent auctions, and Judith Ripka jewelry bar. 

So, as another year comes to an end and we all gather with our friends, family and loved ones, please know that we are very grateful to each of you and are excited about what 2013 will bring. Your support makes our year-round educational seminars, support groups, and events would not be possible!  Thank you! We are grateful for your gift of time, talents, and support! Please note that we are able to accept year-end charitable gifts up until December 31st by mail or phone. To volunteer your time and talents in the coming year, complete the Volunteer Interest Form and email to Terri: with the subject line: 'Volunteer Interest'. From the CCFA family to yours, we wish you a happy holiday season. Click here for a photo slideshow commemorating all we’ve accomplished together in 2012!

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy holiday season! 

Lesley Hoover

Lesley Hoover, Chapter Director


Volunteer Spotlight: Simranjit Bedi 


 Meet Sim, one of our newest volunteers. He joined us for ‘Power Calling’ – fundraising calls during Awareness Week.

‘My name is Simranjit Bedi and I am a third year medical student doing my clinical rotations in Cleveland. I was born and raised in Cleveland and I am glad to be back home after having completed my undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University and having completed two years of medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in PA.

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in October 2011 during my second year of medical school and I am joining CCFA for both personal and professional reasons. After being diagnosed, I started doing a lot of research on IBD by reading various journal articles, research publications and medical literature, talking to experts on IBD, and talking to others with IBD. This sparked my interest in pursuing a career in gastroenterology.

I look forward to participating in support group discussions, joining the Golf Committee and volunteering at Take Steps Cleveland. Through the support groups and CCFA I know that I will be able to grow personally through learning from the experiences of others with IBD, since I have only lived with ulcerative colitis for a little over a year. I am hoping to provide information that I have learned to other CCFA members in order to better their understanding of IBD. I am very excited to work with such a vibrant and enthusiastic team and I hope that I will be able to contribute to this wonderful organization!’


Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week Recap

 Awareness collage

In honor of Awareness week, we held a ‘Power Call’ night, previewing the new national "Escape the Stall" publicity campaign, and passed out flyers in costume!  

Did you hear the exciting news? Cleveland Mayor, Frank Jackson issued a proclamation officially recognizing Awareness week in Cleveland. See the proclamation here.


New Features at!

IBD banner

Are you determined?! Check out CCFA’s newly redesigned I’ll Be Determined site, which is an interactive web site dedicated to helping you take charge of your IBD!  The site will help you learn more about your disease and learn new things about IBD so you can join the movement to be determined and take charge!  There is great information – from treatment options to complications to nutrition – with quizzes, games, and videos along the way. We’ve also added a newly diagnosed section too and an interactive management tracker called GI Buddy!  Visit:,  

GI Buddy

GI Buddy is designed to help you easily and conveniently track important aspects of your IBD and create comprehensive views of your health to share with your healthcare team.  With GI Buddy, you can:

  • Log your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis symptoms
  • Stay on top of your IBD treatment
  • Record the foods you eat
  • Monitor your overall well-being
  • And see how everything you’re logging comes together in reports!

By logging this information as often as possible, you can share the total picture of your health with your healthcare team and, together, work to improve your IBD management and quality of life.  Start using GI Buddy today! Available online at or on your iPhone as an app!  


Akron JCC Family Wellness Expo


On Sunday, January 20, 2013 from 12:00-4:00 pm CCFA will be at the Family Wellness Expo at the Shaw JCC, 750 White Pond Drive in Akron.  The purpose of the Family Wellness Expo is to offer families in Summit County and of the Shaw JCC valuable information and knowledge related to health and wellness in an atmosphere that is fun and entertaining.  Come visit the CCFA table at the Wellness Expo to learn more about our support group, education programs, Take Steps and other CCFA activities in the Akron area.  For questions about the Wellness Expo, contact the Shaw JCC 330-835-0058. 


Camp Oasis

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Camp Oasis is a co-ed residential camp for kids with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Our 2013 session will be held at Camp Copneconic in Fenton MI from Sunday, July 7, 2013 through Saturday, July 13, 2013.  Applications will be available in mid-January 2013 for campers (entering grades 2 – 11 in fall 2013), Leaders in Training (entering grade 12 in fall 2013), and volunteers (high school graduates, age 19 and up at time of application).

Click here to learn more about this exciting program, or contact Terri Donovan at or call 216-524-7700 ext. 2. 


Ask the Experts - SAVE THE DATE


Our annual education program, Ask the Experts, is scheduled for Saturday, March 16, 2013 in Independence.  More details about the program will be coming soon!  Check our website in January, or call the Northeast Ohio office, 216-524-7700, ext 2.   


Take Steps Thank You

Take Steps logo




Take Steps Cleveland & Akron have seen lots of success in 2012. Together we reached record attendance numbers and collectively generated over $207,000 (gross)! Like many nonprofits, we operate with a very small team, without our generous and dedicated volunteers, Take Steps would not be able to raise these necessary funds for CCFA Northeast Ohio’s mission-critical programs. We are incredibly grateful for the time, energies and enthusiasm our Take Steps participants and volunteers have dedicated, helping us to fulfill our mission. A heartfelt thank you to all of our walk participants, vendors, sponsors, volunteers and supporters for making 2012 such a success-We can’t wait to see you all again for Take Steps 2013! Registration has already begun!!!

This month we want to thank two very special Take Steps Volunteers- On December 9th friends of Maureen Hayes Schilland Thomas Cvelbar gathered at Cebar’s Euclid Tavern for the annual holiday party. 100+ people turned out to buy raffle tickets for one of the sixty raffle prizes, enter the 50/50 raffle, enjoy all the delicious foods and even dance a little polka. The afternoon proved to be a success raising over $4,200!


Maureen Hayes Schill was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 1980 at age 21-now at age 53 she is living a happy healthy life, practically symptom free for the past 10 years. It has been a long road to get to this point. Maureen has endured numerous surgeries related to her ileostomy, multiple hospital admissions for obstructions and Crohn’s related issues. However, this hasn’t slowed Maureen down one bit-While living with a chronic disease like Crohn’s is challenging; Maureen works 32 hours a week, enjoys an active social life. She especially enjoys spending time with her husband and family who have been through this odyssey since its onset. Maureen says she owes a great deal of debt to her very supportive husband, family and huge circle of friends!

Maureen’s Cleveland Take Steps Team, No-Moe Crohn’s was a top fundraising team in 2012 raising over $2400. Maureen has said, “I am more than happy to raise funds for important cutting edge research to find cures for Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis so that the next generation will only know that people USED to be affected IBD.”


Thomas Cvelbarhas owned and managed Cebar’s Euclid Tavern since 1994. Over the past ten years Thomas has raised well over $10,000 for charities including the, Euclid Boys League, The Euclid Police and Fire Depts., Toys for Tots and now CCFA. He is a member of the East 185th Street Merchants Association serving as the Vice President. “Thomas is always ready to lend his support to his “Cebar’s Friends and Family.”

Thomas and Maureen did a fabulous job planning and executing such a great afternoon. We feel so honored to not only have been asked to be a part of this event but to have Take Steps Cleveland be the recipient of such a generous donation! The CCFA staff not only had a blast but are also in complete awe of what an amazingly generous community that came out to not only support Maureen and Thomas but are also helping to spread awareness and raise funds for these diseases!

It isn’t a matter of IF we find a cure, it’s a matter of WHEN we do!! Be part a part of a future free from IBD and Sign up for Take Steps Cleveland today!

If you have questions, please call Caitlin Randall Take Steps Walk Manager, 216.524.7700 x3 or 646.276.1002. For more Take Steps information please visit:!


Doing Some Post-Holiday Cleaning? Consider consigning for CCFA


Planning to do some post-holiday cleaning?  Put aside those pieces of gently used furniture, artwork, lamps, kitchen accessories, collectables, etc. that you’re not using anymore and call Seconds City Consignment and Resale: (440) 845-3000.   

One man’s junk is truly another’s treasure!  Seconds City, located on Pearl Road in Parma Heights, is expert at identifying and consigning items that will be in demand.  They will guide you through the process – designating CCFA as your charity of choice, deciding which of your items to consign, and coordinating pick up/delivery.  Call Annie at Seconds City Consignment and Resale Home Furnishings: (440) 845-3000.

Thank you to everyone who’s already consigned to raise funds!


Art Opening - Save the Date!

Bear painting

Fighters' an Art Exhibit
Opening Reception: Friday, March 1st, 2013                                                        

Local artist Chrystal Robinson is hosting “Fighters”, an exhibition about chronic illness to raise awareness of Crohn’s and colitis.

Admission: $5 at the door. Proceeds benefit CCFA Northeast Ohio.
Art auction < live music < snacks < inspirational speakers

Artists of all ages + skill levels encouraged to submit work.
Artwork on all subjects accepted, those related to journeys with chronic illness prioritized. Contact Chrystal with submissions and questions: or visit

Jupiter Studios
346 E Main St
Alliance, OH, 44601 


Be our Fan!  Follow Us!

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Help spread awareness while staying updated on what's happening at CCFA with social media sites.  Become a Facebook fan by selecting a link below and clicking "Like!"

You can also follow us on Twitter or join the CCFA Northeast Ohio Group on LinkedIn.


Cleveland Clinic DDI Logo sized small

Lead Chapter Partner

Need help?


Contact our Information Resource Center: 888.694.8872 or For tips, sharing, and support from other people with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, join our free CCFA Community site.

Our mission


To cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.

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