Casey Abrams‘ run on American Idol season 10 was nearly derailed when a flare-up of his Ulcerative Colitis sent him to the hospital. He missed a results show, a few functions and Ford commercials, but thankfully, after treatment (which included blood transfusions) he got things under control and was able to compete all the way to 6th place.
Read the full press release HERE.
Now, Casey is set to launch a nationwide contest to raise awareness about inflammatory bowel disease. US citizens, age eighteen and older who are diagnosed with UC or Crohn’s disease, are encouraged to submit their story showcasing how they’ve been able to pursue their dreams despite their disease now through August 26, 2011 at www.IBDIcons.com. Six finalists – three who have UC and three who have Crohn’s disease – will be selected by a panel of judges and announced online this fall, at which time the public can vote for the finalist they find most inspiring.
After a national vote, one finalist with UC and one with Crohn’s disease will be named the 2011 IBD Icons and win a trip to the Zappos.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & 1/2 Marathon on December 4, 2011 to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, where Casey Abrams will perform.
When Casey received his UC diagnosis nearly two years ago, he was concerned about how he would manage the disease and still pursue his passion for music.
“When I was diagnosed with UC in college, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to balance my health and my music. I could barely find the energy to walk to class, let alone carry a bass around campus, ” said Casey. “But I decided UC was just an obstacle I had to rise above in order to pursue making music. I want to let people know that if you stay positive and have the courage to ask for the help you need early on, anyone can live beyond this disease.”
Sponsored by Janssen Biotech, Inc., in partnership with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, IBD Icons brings Casey’s personal experience with ulcerative colitis (UC) to the public forefront in an effort to raise awareness of IBD. IBD includes the chronic digestive diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which combined affect 1.4 million Americans. Despite his diagnosis and struggle with UC, Casey finished in sixth place on season 10 of American Idol and earned a coveted spot on the 2011 summer tour.
“We are excited to be part of a campaign that celebrates individuals with IBD who have risen above their disease in pursuit of their full potential, ” said Kimberly Frederick, LCSW, MSW, Senior Vice President of Mission, CCFA. “It is our hope that the stories of these finalists will inspire others who may be struggling with their diagnosis or symptoms and give them the courage to live beyond IBD.”
Casey encourages everyone living with IBD who is pursuing their dreams to enter for the chance to be named an IBD Icon at www.IBDIcons.com, or register for the fan club to receive program updates. Full contest rules and regulations can be found at www.IBDIcons.com.