What is Crohn’s disease?

It is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in which any part of the GI tract is affected by chronic inflammation. The symptoms are usually severe abdominal pain, fever, diarrhoea and weight loss. There are a variety of other complications involved, like ulcers, arthritis and colon cancer.

It is one of the most painful diseases one can get. Which is scary, because we still don’t know the exact cause of the disease, or have a cure for it. As of yet, symptoms are treated symptomatically. Crowdfunding treatment of Crohn’s Disease would put you in touch with those who are most likely to have sought treatment- the middle class.

In India, the treatment of Crohn’s disease is a bit complicated. This is a disease which has been found to predominantly affect Caucasians, though of late it has also been found in African Americans. This is because genetics has been found to be among the leading factors behind this disease. But that doesn’t mean Indians don’t get this. In fact, India has emerged to be the top South-Asian country with IBD. Curiously, those in the northern part get ulcerative colitis (UC) while those in the south get Crohn’s Disease. Limited exposure and knowledge, coupled with the pathetic public medical system mean that accessing treatment for the disease is really very difficult.

Treatment for the disease is extremely expensive, as it is. It involves using steroids, and injections like Remicade, Humira, and Cimzia which are expensive in the US itself, and not always available in India. The disease came into attention in this country only during the 1980s with the larger availability of colonoscopy. Because Crohn’s disease also depends on a number of factors like impaired immunity and environmental factors and is complicated (though not caused) by microbes, it hits the poor very hard.

This is where the leading crowdfunding platforms in India come in to help. Since this disease is mostly unexplored here, crowdfunding sites in India can help the victims in all possible ways- NGOs can set up crowdfunding campaigns to set up facilities for those with Crohn’s Disease and stock them with the proper medicines, individuals can use the crowdfunding websites to fund their own treatment. Crowdfunding such diseases helps in increasing awareness about the disease, prompting a discussion. That way it would also force the government to take better notice of this gradually rising disease.

So how do you get on with the crowdfunding process?

The key lies in proper diagnosis, and this may actually involve some initial investment on your own. Once you get diagnosed with the disease, it would be much easier for you to build your profile with the documents.

Understand that for the dedicated donors, this would be something new to invest in. Remember to convey the magnitude of the inconvenience caused by the disease, so that people can get an idea of what you are really going through. Because this disease is so less talked about, you become an advocate for its treatment once you go public. Also, with crowdfunding, you would get in touch with other patients and doctors who would get to share their experience with you and make you feel less alone in your fight.

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