Parent Offers Cards to Advocate for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder Research

Natalie Abbott of Colorado, the mother of a young child with a functional gastrointestinal disorder, found this blog while searching the Internet for information on HR 2239, the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act, which is currently under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives. She contacted us to tell her family’s story and to make an offer to IBS Impact members and visitors.

Natalie shared that last Christmas, in her family’s holiday update to relatives and friends, she included information about her son’s functional gastrointestinal disorder. She also enclosed cards that had been printed with photos of her son and a request to Members of Congress to co-sponsor HR 2239. She asked those who received her mailing to consider signing this card in support of her little boy and others living with functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders, or to pass the card along to someone else with a personal interest in one or more of these conditions. She also arranged for the Digestive Health Alliance, the new grassroots arm of IFFGD, to receive the completed cards and to deliver them directly to the Representative of each sender.

Natalie wrote that she has a small number of extra cards on hand and would like to have them put to good use to further the progress of HR 2239. She is generously offering these free of charge to IBS Impact members and blog visitors who contact her, by email or phone, for as long as her supply lasts. She has already provided the postage on each card. Below are more details in her own words:

Dear Friends,

I am the mom to an adorable five year old son living with Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction.  While it is different than IBS, we share a common bond.  We all either live with or have a loved one who is living with a Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorder (FGIMD).  I have been working with Digestive Health Alliance (They have been great to work with.) to do my little part to “get the word out” on H.R. 2239 regarding FGIMD’s.  I have made it SUPER easy for you to get a note to your Congressman or woman. I will send you a personal card that I made about our son – it is already pre-addressed and stamped for you. All you need to do is give me your address. I will send you a card, then you will need to write a short, personal note, include your Congressman or woman’s name (I include instructions so you can find that out very easily.) and your address inside the card.  If you have already contacted your Congressman or woman, use this opportunity to follow-up with them.  I am not sure the safest way for you to give me your address – feel free to e-mail me personally at natalieabbott@comcast.net or call at 303-987-2589.  Thanks in advance for your efforts to get H.R. 2239 passed in the House.  Here’s to hopeful, happy and healthy futures for all of us! 

Natalie in Colorado

IBS Impact commends Natalie’s grassroots awareness and advocacy in educating family members and friends about functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders and encouraging them and Congress to support HR 2239. Many individuals and families affected by these conditions are very reluctant to discuss them openly or to work toward change. However, as a concerned parent, Natalie is sharing her some of her son’s story and her cards with others out of hope for a healthier and more productive life for her child in the future. Her actions, along with the collective actions of many of us, will help the functional GI community at large. IBS Impact encourages readers to contact Natalie to receive one of her cards. Perhaps others will also be inspired by her example to make similar cards or to come up with other grassroots ideas to further the cause of functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders that fit their own interests, talents and resources. It is this sort of personal initiative, commitment and self-advocacy by affected people and their loved ones that IBS Impact was founded to encourage.

For the most recent update on HR 2239, see the December 18 post. For background information and links, see the July 6 post. For another personal story by a concerned family member of people with functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders who has stepped forward publicly to support research, see the article, “The Accidental Advocate” by Jessica L. on the main IBS Impact site.

One role of DHA/IFFGD that has not previously been mentioned on this blog has been to establish and fund the Children’s GI Research Network, a collaboration by six leading pediatric functional GI researchers at academic medical centers in different areas of the United States.  Click the following link for DHA’s resources specific to children with functional GI and motility disorders, including videos of each of the six researchers currently in the network.

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