Dear Friends and Family,
Many of you know Mark and Gisele Woodward, personally or through stories. They have two children, Kristina and Jack, neither of whom ever stops moving, although truthfully, it’s the only way they keep up with their parents. It is common knowledge that Mark is an avid, perhaps fanatical is more accurate, golfer; but did you know that he has lived with Crohn’s disease for 22 years? Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis cause inflammation, lesions, and abscesses in the digestive system. Together they are known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is painful, incapacitating during flares, and incurable.
In October 2011, at the age of eight, Jack was diagnosed with Crohn’s. Jack had suffered gastrointestinal issues for years, but until that set of tests, which clearly showed multiple areas of inflammation in his intestines, doctors were hesitant to declare it Crohn’s and saddle a child with a diagnosis of a lifelong illness. In February 2012, Kristina, aged ten, was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Her symptoms had been milder, yet her intestinal inflammation and lesions were far more pronounced.
The traditional treatment for Crohn’s and Colitis is drug-heavy, involving anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, immunosuppressants and acid reducers, all at high doses. Each of these plays a part in reducing flares of the disease. These are exceptionally strong medications and oftentimes children require additional prescriptions to minimize the side effects of their IBD medications. Who wouldn’t want to explore options to minimize the threat of flares, especially for your children?
Knowing both kids and Mark had IBD, Gisele was ready to consider any sort of change that would minimize the risk of flares and keep the disease manageable. Their pediatric gastroenterologist suggested a diet that had helped other IBD patients in his practice. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet eliminates all complex carbohydrates, refined sugars and certain categories of dairy products. While this would be a truly dramatic change for the whole family, the Woodwards decided to give it a try.
Eight months later, both Kristina and Jack are symptom-free. Kristina is completely prescription-free and Jack’s medications have been drastically reduced. They have also grown taller and put on a little weight, neither of which is ever taken for granted in kids with IBD. Thrilled with the results and armed with the knowledge that everyday decisions can make a difference, Gisele and Mark founded the Woodward Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (WCCF) to support research into non-pharmaceutical options, such as diet and lifestyle change, to help families manage IBD. WCCF has partnered with doctors at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, to raise funds for multi-site research at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to understand how this diet works and why it is so successful for children with IBD.
We ask for your support to reach our fundraising goal of $75,000 this year which will allow the doctors at Children’s of Atlanta and Philadelphia to begin their clinical trials so other families can have medical evidence, in addition to the current anecdotal evidence, that the Specific Carbohydrate Diet makes a difference in the lives of children with Crohn’s and Colitis.
You can help by sending a check with the included donation card or you can donate online at www.woodwardccf.org. Many companies match charitable donations, maybe yours will too? Of course, your entire donation is tax deductible and goes to an incredibly worthy, exciting and groundbreaking cause.
Thank you for your time, and especially for your support.
Gisele, Mark, Nicki, Stacey, Leslie, Jason, Joe and Roberto
To donate to the Woodward Crohn's and Colitis through Paypal, please click on the link below.
Your donation will be tax deductible.
You can also mail us a check payable to "Woodward Crohn's and Colitis Foundation" or "WCCF".
327 Ralston Creek St
Daniel Island, SC 29492