The steadily increasing financial support the Foundation has provided for research and education is a reflection of this extraordinary growth. 45 years ago, CCFA’s first contribution to IBD research was a $32,000 grant. The quality of CCFA’s comprehensive research program is unrivaled. The Foundation sponsors projects of both proven researchers and promising new ones, thus encouraging talented investigators to enter and remain in the field.
CCFA has played a role in every major scientific breakthrough in IBD, including the discovery of infliximab, or Remicade®, the first biologic treatment for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and, just recently, pediatric patients. In addition, CCFA’s investment contributed to the identification of the first gene for Crohn’s, NOD2/CARD15. Most recently, a major genetic link to the development of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as other inflammatory diseases like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, has been reported in a recently published study. This study builds on a groundwork laid by more than $125 million in Crohn’s and colitis research funded by CCFA.
Throughout the years, the Foundation has sponsored education seminars for patients and their families as well as workshops and symposia for physicians and scientists. CCFA has distributed hundreds of thousands of informational brochures to patients, physicians and hospitals. Mutual help support programs have provided patients and their families with the opportunity to discuss functioning and coping with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, thus reducing the isolation and frustration of living with chronic illness.
The past 45 years have been fruitful. Challenges were met and new frontiers of IBD research were charted. CCFA has come a long way, but the struggle is not over. A cure for IBD has yet to be found. Strengthened by a core of dedicated volunteers and equally dedicated physicians, CCFA will continue to forge ahead in its fight against IBD.