Changing the Future by Getting Involved
At 15 years of age, Elizabeth Herrick was very ill. After six months of incorrect diagnoses, she was told she had Crohn's disease. As many young people with Crohn's disease do, Elizabeth hid her condition from others for nearly 10 years. An emergency hospitalization and blood transfusion on her 23rd birthday were a turning point for Elizabeth. At that point, she dived into extensive "self-education" around her disease and started exploring all routes and modalities to improve her condition. She hasn't stopped and is committed to hope and in finding a cure.
An integral part of fulfilling her personal mission has been Elizabeth's connection to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. She recognizes that "the Foundation can change the future, as it tenaciously seeks solutions and looks down all avenues." Elizabeth is delighted "with the Foundation's more progressive approach in looking at the disease."
She wants the Foundation to continue to be at the forefront in finding a cure for IBD. For that reason, Elizabeth and her family donate annually to the Foundation. Elizabeth's father, Stephen Herrick, has an individual retirement account (IRA) that he does not currently use for living expenses and which will be heavily taxed upon his death. For that reason, the Herricks make their donations to the Foundation directly from his IRA. "It's a great way to donate.
We can have those dollars work to help the world now rather than later," Elizabeth shares.
When asked if there is anything she would share with other IBD patients, Elizabeth says she wishes she would have become more involved with the Foundation sooner. "It's easy to get into a place of isolation with these diseases. The earlier you can get involved, the better. With social media and technology, the Foundation can help you learn more about your disease and make you feel part of a community fighting for the same cause. The sooner patients can embrace the fact that this is a lifelong disease, get involved, and start giving, the better," shares Elizabeth.
In addition to outright IRA gifts, such as those given by the Herrick family, supporters may also designate the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation as a beneficiary of their retirement accounts, with their gifts supporting the Foundation's efforts after their lifetimes. For more information about how you can utilize your retirement account to support the Foundation, contact Susan Carriker at 252-597-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org.