More than 190 young Crohns and Colitis patients and their families, joined the CICRA team on 10 May at the Airspace Conference Centre in the Duxford Museum near Cambridge, amongst the historic aircraft and ancillary exhibits, to enjoy and benefit from the informational and educational CICRA IBD day.
Speakers came from the nearby Addenbrooke’s Hospital Paediatric IBD team, led by Dr Rob Heuschkel. They were joined by Dr Nick Croft, CICRA’s Medical Advisor from Barts & the Royal London Hospital, who with Dr Heuschkel jointly chaired a wide range of stimulating presentations during the morning. Mr Justin Davies presented the pros and cons associated with surgical options followed by a range of inter-related presentations about Living and Coping with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) from the Collins family. Dr Croft presented an interesting talk on Growth and Development which led into a joint talk from Dr Torrente and Nurse Specialist Mary Brennan on Transition and moving on to adult services. The morning ended with an interesting presentation from Dr Matt Zilbauer (the recipient of
a CICRA Research Award) about research and what the future holds.
The Coffee breaks and Buffet lunch were held within the Museum’s main conservation area with time to meander among the exhibits.
After lunch young Toby Shepheard from Maple Primary School in St Albans presented CICRA Vice Chairman Rod Mitchell with a cheque for £301 which he had raised by Watching the Pennies Grow in Perspex tubes during a special school Growing Week. This was followed by CICRA Trustee Neil Gooding providing a short resume about CICRA – How it all began and what we do.
The afternoon continued with the opportunity for everyone to take part in a varied programme of short break out sessions headed up by the morning speakers and specialists from Addenbrookes and Barts & the Royal London Hospital. Three separate sessions catered for the young people; an entertainer for the very young, a teenage session for the 12 – 16 and a session for the ‘Inbetweeners’ the 17+ group. Feedback from all three groups has been great and particularly good from the children and young adults. It was especially good for them to realise that they’re not alone and that other kids with IBD are also pretty “normal”.
From the ‘Inbetweeners’ Group the feedback was that all the young people were inspirational, and that it was particularly moving to hear that two young sufferers were struggling to find work as a result of IBD having disrupted their education. They also discussed next steps and there was a strong desire to keep in touch via a closed Facebook group.
To end the day everyone came together for a final round up with the opportunity to hear in general terms about the results of the break out groups after which there was again time for those who wished to visit the CICRA stalls, enjoy a refreshment break and to spend the rest of the day visiting the museum, or of course to chat to newly made IBD friends and families before setting off for home.
Amongst the comments were grateful thanks to all the CICRA team for arranging a splendid day and to the medical professionals for their support.
ADVANCE NOTICE: In a few weeks time on Saturday 21 June 2014 there will be another CICRA IBD Family Day but this time in Nottingham. More details are available from the CICRA office: tel: 020 949 6209 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org