Crohn's Disease ambassador Brittani Nicholl at Snapper Rocks.
Crohn's Disease ambassador Brittani Nicholl at Snapper Rocks. John Gass

Brave Brittani speaks out on Crohn’s Disease

MAY is Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Month and local ambassador for Crohn's Disease Brittani Nicholl will be heading for Parliament House on May 27 to talk about her plight with the disease.

Brittani, 22 from Pottsville has lived with Crohn's Disease since she was a seven -year-old child.

She has not only conquered what could have been a disability, but forged ahead to carve out a successful surfing career.

By the time Brittani reached 16, she required surgery to remove part of her bowel.

Within three days of the surgery she haemorrhaged, losing 90% of her blood volume.

"I needed transfusions and thankfully survived."

"I'm 100% now," she said.

Brittani will also be a guest speaker at Circular Quay in Sydney called the Silver Lining Luncheon, where she will relate her story.

CEO of Crohns and Colitis Australia (CCA,)Francesca Manglaviti, said Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is quietly turning peoples' lives upside down.

"Australia needs to become more educated about its significant impacts," she said.

"IBD is largely hidden, but affects around 1 in 250 people in Australia.

"It is enormously disruptive to peoples' lives, physically and emotionally, but few sufferers are willing to talk about it in detail.

"The fact is, we need to start a conversation with them, so they can confidently access the support they need."

According to CCA there are many IBD sufferers who fail to diagnose the condition early or accurately, which can lead to several other complications.

"Lack of understanding of the condition has meant that many self-diagnose through the internet or accept the advice and opinions of well-meaning friends and family, a move which can lead to misdiagnosis, delayed treatment and permanent health impacts," Ms Manglaviti said.

"It's vital for people with bowel symptoms talk to their doctor immediately.

"Uncontrolled inflammation of the bowel can lead to the need for multiple surgeries and in some cases cause significant disability.

"Australian's can't wait to get appropriate care, advice and support for IBD."

For further information or to support Crohn's & Colitis Australia please visit http://www.crohnsandcolitis.com.au or call 1800 138 029.



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