Every year December 1st-7th is IBD Awareness Week which is a week dedicated to raising awareness for IBD and bringing attention to those affected by the disease. During this, there are some amazing events going on through the CCFA and other advocates that include Facebook Live Chats, Twitter Chats and much more!
This year I wanted to do something I have not done before in honor of IBD Awareness Week, and that is a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. If you are unfamiliar with this reddit.com has a section titled “AMA” where people such as celebrities, scientists, advocates.. you name it do these sessions and individuals come in and submit questions and the person hosting the session answer them. It’s a cool way to be able to talk with people and ask whatever you want.
The Reddit AMA I would like to do involves being an IBD patient and pursuing an advanced degree and the rigors and stress that come along with it and how we manage our disease while dealing with everything else. I will have a guest with me who is a Ph.D. candidate in Microbiology who also has Ulcerative Colitis. The purpose of the session is to raise awareness for IBD, give a glimpse into what it’s like being in a hard academic environment/program and succeeding while managing IBD. Not only for those who are pursuing something like this but for any patient trying to get through schooling, work or life. I think there is a lack of patients in these very stressful settings sharing their experiences and I would like to change that! You guys know what I do I am a Master’s Student pursuing a degree in Biology Research and some of my graduate level work has been studying gut bacteria and how they affect intestinal cells and relate to IBD. Now, here is the biography of my Co-Host.
“My name is Bently Shuster. I am a 4th year Microbiology Ph.D. at NYU studying properties of spore-forming bacteria in various lab and natural isolates. My research is focused on the phenotypes of the outermost layers of the spore and how they vary in their respective environments. While I am relatively on track, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at the beginning of my second year. I spent all my time, when not at the lab or in the classroom, visiting doctors to address how sick I had become during my first year. I was originally diagnosed with endometriosis and IBS but after a laparoscopic surgery to remove the excess endometrial cells, my symptoms did not subside. A year and several doctors later, I could begin medication to help me function like a human while attempting to slave over my thesis. I hope I can help answer any questions as to what it is like to try to balance a Ph.D. with a chronic illness. Whether it is about trying to talk to your professors about the time you may need away, to finding someone who will be supportive and encouraging in your field, despite the handicap, it is always good to know that there is a way. I firmly believe that we can use our disabilities to inspire our work even if we are occasionally slower than our peers. The Reddit AMA will be held on Saturday, December 3rd. You will be able to submit your questions all throughout the day, and we will be answering them as they come. It should be a fun experience and cool way to raise awareness for IBD and give a glimpse of what it’s like to be in this environment.”
The Reddit AMA will be held on Saturday, December 3rd. You will be able to submit your questions all throughout the day, and we will be answering them as they come. It should be a fun experience and cool way to raise awareness for IBD and give a glimpse of what it’s like to be in this environment.