Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Signs and symptoms often include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss, and possible bowel obstruction. Other complications may occur outside the gastrointestinal tract and include anemia, skin rashes, arthritis, and tiredness. Crohn's disease is caused by a combination of environmental, immune and bacterial factors in genetically susceptible individuals. It results in a chronic inflammatory disorder, in which the body's immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract possibly directed at microbial antigens.
This video was created as a way to honor the memory of my wonderful husband who passed away June 2013 from this rare form of cancer called Ocular Melanoma. To help raise funds and awareness, I asked friends and family to participate in an online event called "A SELFIE FOR A CAUSE!" Everyone was asked to simply post a picture of themselves on Facebook wearing an eye patch or covering an eye with one hand. For each picture they posted, I added informative links about OM, early detection and screening. I also agreed to donate $5 per picture to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation. Together we raised over $1400 and helped spread the word about this disease to several hundred and more!
Ocular melanoma ("OM" for short) is a cancer of the eye diagnosed in approximately 2,000 adults annually in the United States. This equates to about 5 - 6 cases per million people per year and, for people over 50 years old, the incidence rate increases to around 21 per million per year.
Similar to melanoma of the skin, OM is a little understood and silent killer. In the majority of cases, ocular melanoma develops slowly from the pigmented cells of the choroid (choroidal melanoma) but it also can develop from the pigmented cells of the iris and ciliary body.
Ocular Melanoma is such an aggressive form of cancer that approximately 50% of patients will develop metastases by 10 to 15 years after diagnosis (a small percentage of people will develop metastases even later i.e. 20-25 years after their initial diagnosis). Metastatic disease is universally fatal. This 50% mortality rate is unchanged despite treatment advances in treating the primary eye tumor. More research is needed urgently to improve patient outcomes.
To learn more about OM, early screening and prevention, please visit: http://ocularmelanoma.org/home.htm
To make a tax-deductible donation to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation and in honor of my husband, please visit: https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/larryburich/fundraisingpageinhonoroflarryburich#.U3JPvn0lu6A.facebook
All contributions go towards providing ground breaking research and funding patient retreats. Thank you and Many Blessings!