Since the day Brian Strasser met his wife, Mona, she’s been battling Crohn’s disease. They met in college more than 30 years ago. During that time, Mona underwent an appendectomy, through that procedure, it was discovered she had Crohn’s disease and a portion of her intestine was removed. IBD has been a big part of their lives, their relationship and their family—but, it hasn’t stopped them from enjoying life, finding humor amidst the difficult days and having children.
Speaking of family, their son Aidan (now 21), was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 13. Much like his mom, he tends to put on a brave face during flares and takes his symptoms and his disease one day at a time.
“Having empathy is a must. My wife and Aidan are true warriors and that is what really inspires and motivates me to want to help spread awareness,” said Brian.
Brian and his family go above and beyond to help get the word out about IBD. In prior years, they launched “Crunches for Crohn’s and Colitis”—a campaign both in real life and on social media to connect to those with IBD, create awareness and raise money for the cause. Crohn’s and Colitis Canada backed this effort and supported the effort on a national level. Here’s how it worked—Brian shared a challenge that he would do 10,000 crunches until $10,000 was donated to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. For five months straight, Brian posted a video of himself doing crunches, while wearing costumes.
“There were several days where I was not 100 percent inspired to post or had time to post, but I made a commitment and even if the video went up at 11:59 pm that day, I did it. In the end, we raised almost $15,000 for the cause and was put directly towards research. I know it’s only a drop in the bucket compared to what is raised annually, but it was my part to make a difference to some degree,” said Brian.
Now—Brian and his family have launched a new video campaign called “SOCKIT2IBD”. The goal is similar—to raise awareness about IBD through videos on social media. You can think of it like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, but with a twist.
You may be wondering how you can SOCKIT2IBD? It’s simple:
- Grab a pair of socks
- Put them on your hands
- Get in a boxing stance and on video say “Jab, Jab, Hook, Uppercut…Sock It to IBD!”
- Share a short explanation of why you’re passionate about the cause and implore friends and family to donate to the cause.
- Donations can be made by clicking this link.
- Include the hashtag: #SOCKIT2IBD in your social media post and tell others to do the same.
- When you post to social media, tag Brian Strasser on Facebook, @strassarama on Instagram and @10kCrunches for Twitter.
As Brian says, even though we live in different countries, we’re both fighting the same end goal—a cure for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
Click here to check out the SOCKIT2IBD YouTube channel.