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It takes guts

It Takes Guts is a new campaign by Crohns and Colitis UK. I was honoured to be asked to be part of it. They say:

It takes guts to talk about Crohn’s and Colitis. But no one can see it until we say it. 
It’s time to speak up and break down the stigma.
One conversation at a time.

Sam and Eli Cleasby in Crohns and Colitis UK It Takes Guts purple tshirts

Part of their campaign is an animated video. I was asked to provide the voice for part of this along with two other people with Crohns or Colitis and the result is just brilliant.

Sam Cleasby Sheffield ostomy and IBD blogger animated in Crohns and Colitis UK It Takes Guts campaign

Please take a look at the It Takes Guts website, there is so much brilliant information and support and you can share your own story too.

Sam Cleasby Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis blogger in Crohns and Colitis UK It Takes Guts campaign

Or maybe you’d like to create your own emoji poster to start the conversation and share on social media?

Sam Cleasby ostomy blogger Crohns and Colitis UK Living with Ulcerative Colitis It Takes Guts

Crohns and Colitis UK

I have been a huge supporter of Crohns and Colitis UK for many years. I have received so much support and information from them in my times of need. It is a real honour to be able to give back to them now.

Also a big thank you to my child Eli who came along as my support and help for the filming and voice overs. They carried my bags, helped me with travel and was a great support all day. I wouldn’t have been able to go without help and my brilliant 16 year old was a rock all day. They even joined in on the photo shoots!

Sam Cleasby IBD blog Crohns and Colitis Uk It Takes Guts campaign

You might also recognise Timm on the website offering some words of wisdom around speaking to children about Crohns and Colitis! I’m so pleased that all my family are so supportive and help me to raise awareness like this!

Sam and Timm Cleasby in their allotment in Sheffield with a chicken

I hope you love the It Takes Guts campaign as much as we do!

✌🏽& ❤️

Sam xx

Supporting Someone With IBD: A Guide For Friends and Family

“Finding out that someone you care about has Crohn’s or Colitis is a shock. You might be feeling anxious about what comes next and how their life will be affected. Things will change – but the support of friends and family can make a huge difference in helping them live well with their condition.”

Crohn’s and Colitis UK have produced some information on how you can support someone with IBD and you might just recognise the couple on the guide!

crohns and colitis uk supporting someone with IBD

crohns and colitis uk supporting someone with IBD

HUGE news!

I have been desperate to share this news for a few months but had to wait for everything to be confirmed, but I have some HUGE news!

In February 2018 I will be traveling to Munich, Germany and co-hosting an amazing event to raise awareness and money for Crohns and Colitis UK and Lupus Foundation with none other than Hollywood actor Ian Harding from Pretty Little Liars!!

You can find more information and buy tickets here.

ian harding lupus sam cleasby crohns and colitis uk

Just in case you can’t read German, here is a translation from the website:

“Autoimmune diseases Lupus and Crohn’s disease Crohn’s are a treacherous affair: often doesn’t show the suffering people go through, and yet a diagnosis has serious consequences for life.

To raise public awareness of the incurable disease, actor Ian Harding – coming known from the hit series of Pretty Little Liars and multiple winner of the teen choice awards – and the renowned British Blogger Sam Cleasby host an exclusive benefit concert in Munich.

Together with Cleasby, Harding leads through the program of the evening. Afterwards, you can meet Harding and Cleasby personally, when they will be signing event-designed T-Shirts, posters and flyers to  all concertgoers.

The proceeds of the event go to the organisations Lupus Foundation of America and Crohn’s and Colitis UK, whose Ambassadors are Harding and Cleasby.

The Bands Splashing Hill, Liann and a third act which is yet to be announced provide the musical accompaniment. Supports the event is through the European Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation ECCS, by the Director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Centre in Munich, Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Ochsenkühn. This serves the medical backgrounds of the events, which will also be addressed in the context of a discussion panel with Cleasby and Harding.

Regular updates to the event can be found on the Facebook page of splashing Hill.”

ian harding lupus sam cleasby crohns and colitis uk

I am over the moon and so proud to be part of this awesome event and can’t wait to team up with Ian and give a great show! It would be amazing to see some of my european readers over there, it’s going to be a blast!

I have done talks around the world, but this will be my first time speaking in Germany and so I am really excited to get to hang out and get to know some badasses from around Europe.  I am always so proud to be asked to speak and this will be my first time hosting an event, so I just hope I do you all proud.

I hope to see you there!

Sam

Crohns and Colitis UK South Yorkshire

I am really proud to be a volunteer for the South Yorkshire group of Crohns and Colitis UK.

We are a small team who all have either Crohns or ulcerative colitis and we raise awareness, raise money and offer support to local people with IBD in our area.

A few weeks ago we had a race night in Hillsborough to raise money and have a great time. We were over the moon to raise over £1000!!

Crohns and Colitis uk South Yorkshire

We were thrilled to get into the Sheffield Star too.

We put on coffee mornings, attend events and put on our own and everyone is welcome.

Our next event is this Saturday at the medical education centre at Northern General hospital in Sheffield from 1-4pm. I will be doing a talk about the emotional and mental health aspects of IBD and there will also be talks by my wonderful surgeon Mr Brown and an IBD nurse.

Everyone is welcome, please do share the event and come along if you can.

 

Sam xx

Connect Magazine – IBD, a partner’s perspective

If you’re a Crohns and Colitis UK member and get the Connect magazine then you may recognise the folk on the cover!

Crohns and Colitis uk connect magazine Sam Cleasby

 

Thanks to the guys at Crohns and Colitis UK for featuring us and for such a lovely feature.

Crohns and Colitis uk connect magazine Sam Cleasby

 

Sam xx

Crohns and Colitis UK Community Champion! That’s me!

Oh blimey! I am so overwhelmed and proud to let you know that I am now one of Crohns and Colitis UK’s Community Champions.

“Crohn’s and Colitis UK’s close community is our biggest strength and we would not be able to continue our fight against Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) without the support of those who are making a huge difference to support the charity and the wider IBD community.

We are honoured to recognise several dedicated supporters as Community Champions, because of their dedication, passion and exceptional efforts. Community Champions do incredible work across the UK, they are campaigning to raise awareness in the media, striving to resolve stigma associated with bowel conditions, raising money that funds research, support lines and much more as well as volunteering to support their local community.”

sam cleasby crowns and colitis uk community champion

 

I became a member of Crohns and Colitis UK shortly after I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.  I had never even heard of the illness before the doctors told me I had it.  At first I was just relieved that I didn’t have bowel cancer, but then as I read up on it, I got pretty scared.  I searched the internet for answers and found some scary stories that made me feel worse than before, and then I found CCUK.

It was such a relief to find a website with all the information and support that I needed in one place, I used the forums and read up as much as I could.  Then when I had my surgery to remove my colon in 2013, I rediscovered the site and it was even better, there was a lot of information but it was easy to read and access.

Crohns and Colitis UK have done so much for me and I knew that I wanted to give something back, I am a member and would recommend it to anyone who has IBD or is a carer or family member, you can join from £15 a year, get a magazine, can’t wait card and a ton of support and your money goes to research, support and information, if you join in October, you get a free RADAR key).

Since then I have done fund raisers, joined my local branch and raised awareness of this amazing charity and I will always continue to do so.  To be made one of their community champions is a very proud day for me.

sam cleasby crohns and colitis uk community champion

And I am in such amazing company too! Ellie Pugh is just 11 years old and has raised so much money for CCUK after being diagnosed herself, what an inspiration! My lovely friend Charlotte Guinea, who I met through our shared love of stopping poo being a taboo is also one of the Community Champions and of course, the wonderful Get Your Belly Out team.  Take a look at all the champions here.

I don’t do what I do for recognition, I do it because this is my life, I know how it feels to have IBD and face the uncertainties, fear and struggles of life with a lifelong, chronic illness.  I share my story because in my darkest days, I wish I could have read about someone else’s journey to give me hope that there is life after an IBD diagnosis.  But I am extremely proud, humbled and honoured to be part of something so special.

Thank you Crohns and Colitis UK, thank you

 

Sam xxx

The #GetYourBellyOut birthday ball 

I was super excited to be invited by Crohns and Colitis UK to attend the #GetYourBellyOut 2nd birthday ball with them.  As it was Timm’s birthday, he came along too!

#GetYourBellyOut is a great group who raise money for CCUK and awareness of life with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  To join in the campaign, all you have to do is upload a picture of your belly to your chosen social media accounts using the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut! You DO NOT have to have IBD to join in the campaign, just a willingness to help raise awareness!

You can also make a donation by sending the text IBDA99 and your donation amount E.g. ‘IBDA99 £3’ to 70070 (UK mobiles only) or you can donate to the JustGiving page online here. ALL donations go to Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

The event was held at the National Motorcycle museum in Solihull and it was an absolute blast! It was amazing to be in a room filled with so many inspirational and wonderful people, stories were shared and the drinks flowed as people talked about their own IBD journeys and the difference that the campaign has made to their life.

IBD is known as an embarrassing illness and it can be hard for people to speak out about their illnesses and how it affects their lives.  So to be at this event where everyone is speaking openly (I was going to say ‘poo was on everyone’s lips’ but that sounds very, very wrong!) was just brilliant.

#GetYourBellyOut is doing amazing work and I was so chuffed to be invited, here are some of the photos from the night.  I’d highly recommend you head over and check out their work.  Someone asked me if I felt in competition with the group and with other IBD bloggers, and I can wholeheartedly say NO!  I think we are all on the same team and we all do what we do to try and make the lives of other people better.  I happily promote and share the work of other bloggers because I want to get everyone talking about their health, it is all about raising awareness and the more voices out there, the better.

When I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2003, there was so little support, the internet and social media have brought together so many people who are willing to speak out and to offer help to others and that is just so special.  I started this blog in early 2013 when I couldn’t find much info and support in the UK, nowadays there are so many more blogs, websites and support groups and this can only be a good thing.

Let’s celebrate all those who work hard in tough circumstances to shout out, to stop poo being taboo, to raise awareness, raise money and work to find a cure.  The Get Your Belly Out birthday ball was certainly a celebration of all those things.


Thank you guys for all your fantastic work!

I suppose it is only right that I get my belly out for this event, so here you go!

 

Sam xx

The Plug and CCUK 

Last year, The Plug nightclub in Sheffield got in touch with me, they’d seen my blog and the work I do and wanted to help.

They choose charities and donate the income from their guest list donations. So basically, if you are put on the guest list to see a band at The Plug, you are asked on the door for a small donation. Seems fair if you’re blagging your way in for nothing!

Anyway, they asked me who I’d like to donate to and I, of course, chose Crohns and Colitis UK.  I volunteer for the South Yorkshire branch of CCUK and so the money will go directly to the people of South Yorkshire which is just awesome!

plug sheffield charity crohns and colitis UK

I would like to thank The Plug for an astounding £732.62! This money will make a big difference and I am super proud of being part of this.

If you live in South Yorkshire and either have Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis, or if you have a close family member or friend who does and you want support and information, then please do get in touch, attend the coffee mornings and get involved!

CCUK are a charity so close to my heart, it is well worth joining the national charity for support and info and then getting involved in the group in your area.

 

Sam x

Crohns and Colitis UK Dinner Dance

Back in September, I was invited to a dinner dance arranged by Stephanie Donnelly, a woman who set up a support group for people who have or are about to have stoma surgery.  It was in aid of Crohns and Colitis UK and Breakaway and I was asked to be part of their fashion show at the Midland Hotel in Bradford.

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

It was a great event and they raised a lot of money for two great causes, it was an honour to be part of the day.  Sometimes, being an IBD blogger can be lonely, you sit alone writing for a huge audience but don’t actually get to spend time with others and so attending events like this is a great joy.

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

I have never done a catwalk (there doesnt seem to be much call for a size 16 woman covered in scars to model!!) before but it was tons of fun and fantastic to be part of a runway filled with inspiring women who have or have had an ostomy.  There was a Photo Booth and a swing band called the 309’s, all in all it was a fantastic night!

Thanks to Timm from The Picture Foundry  for being my wonderful date and for photographing me in these shots.

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

crohns and colitis event charity blogger sam cleasby

Sam x