This year we dove into the world of a social media campaign! We formulated the ‘Butt Campaign’ where people had the chance to be a Pain in the Butt!. Throughout the making and promotion of this campaign we had the chance to meet some unbelievably inspirational IBD-ers and work with people who had the same passion as us. We had hundreds sign the pledge, over 2000 views on the video and we are hoping it continues to grow as time progresses. We think this deserves to be in the top moments of 2012 for the awareness it brought to IBD and the people it connected.
Just hours after we shared The Butt Campaign with the world an email appeared in our Gutsy Generation email notifying us that Casey Abrams, American musician and former American Idol contestant had not only retweeted our campaign but had also pledged to be a Pain in the Butt, and for that reason we think this is an ultimate win!
We introduced the world of IBD to the wonderful world of “Ecards” or as some people call them, “memes”. In the life of an IBD-er it is we know there are crappy days and unpleasant medical tests but we believe even though we spend hours upon hours on the toilet and sometimes look at like a 90 year old crippled over in pain that we should laugh through the tough days and appreciate what we do have.
4) Guest Post Series
This year we had a strong guest post series featuring IBD-ers from far and wide sharing their struggles, triumphs and laughs with us. Some of our esteemed guests included The Great Bowel Movement, Gut Inspired, A Guy with Crohn’s, Love for Mutant Guts, LOOP, and My Journey with Crohn’s.
Surf around http://thegutsygeneration.blogspot.ca/ for some inspirational IBD stories!
5) Being featured on other blogs
We believe that meaningful awareness and advocacy comes from partnering from other passionate and gutsy organizations. We loved being featured on blogs such as,
Girls with Guts
My Journey with Crohn’s
And even getting a ‘celebrity’ shoutout by Disease on My Sleeve.
6) Niagara International Half Marathon
What happens when two stubborn, colon-less girls get the idea in their head that they are going to run a half marathon? Well it happens, of course! Through hell or high water we (Jennie and Taylor) trained hard and completed the Niagara Falls International half Marathon together sporting our homemade “Colonless #1” and “Colonless #2” gear all 21.5km. Awareness and ambition, showing others that just because you have IBD doesn’t mean you should let IBD have you.
Read about it here.
7) IBD Adventures Machu Pichu trek with IDEAS
A 4-day hike through the mountainous backyard of Peru is not the typical way to celebrate 2.5 months after surgery, but Jennie found it fitting. After joining IDEAS for their IBD Adventures (listen up, the next trip is in China!) in the pursuit of “changing attitude with altitude”, Jennie had the most incredible time doing something she couldn’t have dreamed of. This is her favorite picture, showing that ostomates have bags but not baggage.
Read about it here.
As an IBD-ers we kind of (okay we are going to be honest here) we have IBD ‘celebrity’…crushes. Not crushes in the way that we would like to cuddle and kiss these people, but crushes in the way that we just adore what they are doing in the world of IBD and admire them greatly for that. This year we were blessed to have developed some strong IBD relationships, and had a few moments where we have had to pinch ourselves to make sure we weren’t dreaming. We’ve developed friendships and supports with Robbie's Rainbow, Girls with Guts, Disease on My Sleeve, The Great Bowel Movement, Awestomy, John Bradley (Author of the Fowl Bowel), and IDEAS just to name a few. In addition to these friendships, we have had a couple moments that have left us asking our friends and family to pinch us – including getting an email saying Russell Brand and Justin Beiber (the fake ones, but still – right!) were now following The Gutsy Generation on Twitter as well as one of our favorite IBD guys – Brian Greenberg! All over so many awesome gutsy friendships made this year!
As of today, The Gutsy Generation has 876 likes on Facebook and 488 followers on Twitter. This number has grown exponentially throughout 2012 helping us raise awareness about IBD. 2013 will hopefully bring us into the 1000’s – expanding our reach farther and wider educating all about IBD.
Shayne Corson Talks about his Ulcerative Colitis
Here is Ken Baumann’s article in People magazine and a screenshot of him ‘favoriting’ our tweet about it!
We wish you all the best in 2013. May your medications be helpful, your toilet paper be soft, and your bowels be healthy! Happy New Year Gutsy Guys and Gals!
With love and (minimal) guts,
Jennie + Taylor