Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Quick Crohn's Disease Update

Haven't really talked about my Crohn's in a while. My life has been nuts lately. I've been under a ton of financial stress, and dealing with my past relationships...well one of them anyways. An utter nightmare that I am so glad to have behind me. No idea how I made it through the past 9 months without a major Crohn's flareup.

Now I am dealing with getting a new company off the ground, all while trying to keep my house and pay my unworldy, huge child support payments. Fortunately I have found someone that gives me so much support, I wonder how I even deserve it.

Anyways, I am pretty much not on any medication right now. Supposed to be on Entocort, but I never really got its started. I've been leading a healthier lifestyle, and the overall hapiness negates the "small stuff" stress. I still deal with cramping and all the other fun stuff, but it seems more manageable. Maybe the Prochymal did help?!

I've gotten alot of very inspirational emails and comments from my fellow chronies. You guys amaze me....your Crohn's Disease makes mine look like a hangnail, but you remain positive. Keep your head up guys. God has a plan for us all. Keep fighting, and continue to inspire those around you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why is he talking about Merchant Processing on a Crohn's Blog?

Ok, so in 3 years I have never really pushed one product or service on this site. But my friend started this company and it is really cool. I thought of my Chronies because you can pretty much set your own hours and work from home. This is NOT a home based business scam where you have to pay to sign up...not multi-level....just an awesome commission based job with no quotas, etc.

In the simplest terms, FlashBanc is a national merchant processing provider - They provide businesses with the ability to accept credit cards (or pay less fees on transactions in their store or website). They are hiring Account Executives as independent contractors. Essentially you would be going into businesses (small and large) and offering them merchant processing solutions.

A lot of people start with companies they personally frequent.
Basically they are saying "Oh hey, Mrs. Smith (that owns the salon or gym or whatever), do you know what rates you are paying your merchant processor?"
Mrs. Smith says "no, or x.x%"
Rep: "Well my company does that....can i get a copy of your statement and see if I can save you some money"
Mrs Smith: Yeah, sure I guess
Rep: Ok, well if I can save you a decent amount of money can I earn your business?
Mrs Smith: says send the statement, they analyze and beat the rates and you go back to Mrs. Smtih a hero.

You get their statement and then Flashbanc reviews it and offers a better package, saving the businesses a good deal of money. You bring the proposal back and are the hero. The biz doesn't pay and the switch is painless and done by Flashbanc. Then comes the best earn a % of every singe credit card transaction your client's make.

It really is a great opportunity. Most companies are getting raped by their merchant processor and don't really understand the you are helping them get a better, fair deal. Email me at if you want to know more.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Actor John J. York's Recoreds Crohn's and Colitis PSA's

Actor John J. York's Public Service Announcements Highlight Community-Based Fundraising through Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Take Steps Walks
Television and screen celebrity John J. York, best known for his role as Mac Scorpio on ABC's daytime soap opera General Hospital, recently donated his time to create a radio public service announcement (PSA) series on behalf of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

The 60, 30, and 15 second PSAs will encourage Americans to register for one of over 80 Take Steps Walks in communities around the country in spring and summer 2009. Walkers will raise much-needed awareness of and dollars for research into Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, chronic, painful, and often debilitating digestive diseases collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) that afflict millions of Americans.

York understands the ups-and-downs of living with a chronic digestive disease. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 15, York has quietly coped with a mild case of IBD for decades. Playing General Hospital's police chief since 1991, and most recently joining the daytime soap opera's spin-off, Nightline, York has been able to live out his dream of being a soap opera star. But he's unlike most patients who go day-to-day not knowing when they will wind up in the hospital or miss days or weeks of work at a time.

After learning that his daughter could have inherited a gene that would put her at risk for inheriting ulcerative colitis, York decided to use his recognition to make a difference in patients' lives. "It was impossible for me to sit back and think that my child and thousands of other children could become the victims of this disease," says York. "I hope that my work not only advances the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's mission to find a cure, but helps the estimated 1.4 million Americans impacted win back their lives."

The number of people with newly diagnosed IBD has exploded in recent years and there is no known cure. The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation has defined the field of IBD research for nearly a half-century, enabling the best scientists to discover better therapies and ultimately, a cure.

"The opportunity to take research to the next level has never been greater than right now," says Richard J. Geswell, President of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. "The funds raised by the thousands of people around the country who sign-up to participate in a Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis Walk in 2009 will help us achieve this vision."
Last year, over 30,000 Americans participated in Take Steps for Crohn's & Colitis, raising a total of $6 million for the Foundation to invest in research, education, and support. Visit today to find a Take Steps Walk in your community.

About Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere from the mouth to the anus, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35.

Osiris Prochymal Wins Even More FDA Approval

Thursday, Columbia-based stem cell therapeutic company, Osiris Therapeutics Inc. , said that it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, to broaden its expanded access program for Prochymal, thereby making the investigational stem cell product available to adults with life-threatening Graft vs. Host Disease or GvHD.Prochymal is currently in its Phase III clinical trials for GvHD and Crohn's disease. Expanded access to Prochymal was initially restricted to only pediatric patients suffering from steroid refractory GvHD until patient enrollment in the Phase III pivotal trial was completed.

Osiris noted that under the expanded access program, patients from two months to 70 years of age, inclusive, who have been diagnosed with GvHD that is unresponsive to steroid therapy, are eligible to receive Prochymal. Additionally, for expanded access, the FDA must determine that the available scientific evidence, taken as a whole, demonstrates that the drug may be effective and would not expose the patients to unreasonable risks.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Researchers Discover DNA Variations that Increase Chances of developeing Crohn's

Hmm, interesting article exploring a new potential genetic link to Crohn's....

Researchers at McGill University, the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre, along with colleagues at other Canadian and Belgian institutions, have discovered DNA variations in a gene that increases susceptibility to developing Crohn's disease. Their study was published in the January issue of the journal Nature Genetics.

The study was led by McGill PhD candidate Alexandra-Chloé Villani under the supervision of Dr. Denis Franchimont and Dr. Thomas Hudson. Dr. Franchimont, now with the Erasme Hospital in Brussels, Belgium, was a Canada Research Chair formerly affiliated with the Gastroenterology Dept. of the MUHC. Dr. Hudson, former Director of the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre, is now the President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), located in Toronto.

The researchers pinpointed DNA sequence variants in a gene region called NLRP3 that are associated with increased susceptibility to Crohn's disease. Crohn's is a chronic relapsing inflammatory disease of the digestive system that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Patients can suffer from a number of different symptoms in various combinations, including abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, fever, vomiting and weight loss. Rarer complications include skin manifestations, arthritis and eye inflammation.

"Although the exact cause of Crohn's disease is still unknown, both environmental and genetic factors are known to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of the disease," Dr. Franchimont said.
Crohn's disease is found throughout the world. However, it appears to be most common in North America and northern Europe, and Canada has one of the highest incidence rates in the world. Crohn's affects between 400,000 and 600,000 people in North America.
The 400 square metres of the intestinal absorptive area is the largest single surface in or on the human body, and it is covered by billions of bacteria of the intestinal microflora living in the gastrointestinal tract.

"The single layer of cells lining your intestinal digestive tract is thus constantly exposed to high levels of bacteria and pathogens," Villani explained. "These cells must recognize and respond appropriately to the harmful bacteria while maintaining tolerance to the non-pathogenic 'good' bacteria that make up your intestinal microbial flora. This is the central challenge of the digestive immune system, which needs to balance defence versus tolerance."

"The protein encoded by the Crohn's disease susceptibility gene NLRP3, cryopyrin, is an intracellular bacteria sensor that plays a key role in initiating immune response," explained Villani. Based on their results, researchers theorize the bacterial sensor cryopyrin is probably defective in some patients, and doesn't correctly recognize the presence of harmful bacteria.

"When the digestive immune system's counter-attack is insufficient to clear the threat," Ms. Villani continued, "there is a bacterial infiltration in the intestinal wall through the first line of defence mechanisms. The digestive immune system will again try to repel the threat, but the effort may not be sufficient, and this usually leads to a vicious cycle that results in chronic inflammation in the intestinal wall. And that is Crohn's disease."

"This gene also plays a central role in the regulation of fever, which is one of the most primitive defence mechanisms that exists in humans to fight the surrounding pathogenic bacteria," Dr. Hudson added. "DNA sequence variations in the NLRP3 gene are also known to be responsible for hereditary periodic fever syndromes."

"Previously published genome-wide association studies have already detected more than 30 distinct Crohn's genetic factors, but these only explain about one-fifth of Crohn's disease heritability", said Dr. Franchimont.

Though these results will not lead to any new short-term treatments for Crohn's, Dr. Franchimont is confident that in the longer term it will benefit patient care. "Studies like this one give us a better understanding of key pathways and pathogenic mechanisms involved in Crohn's disease," he said. "Now that we are aware of the role of bacterial sensors in the disease, steps can be taken to develop a new treatment strategy."

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