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2019 was a wild and exhausting ride (in a good way) for Girls With Guts. I think it’s safe to say it was our largest year of growth yet! I am incredibly proud of how far we have come since 2017 and we couldn’t have done it without our Board of Directors and wonderful volunteers who so selflessly offer their free time to help keep things running smoothly.

A large theme for us in 2019 was inspired by the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery called “Kintsugi.”

Our PR Chairperson, Manda, said it best in her blog reflecting on the 2019 New Attendee Retreat, “This is where community becomes vital for healing. Many of us have overcome excruciating battles that left behind physical and emotional scars. It often takes someone to remind us how beautiful we are with those “flaws.” Stretch marks, along with scars from surgery or therapy, should be embraced because they are the result of us overcoming an obstacle that once appeared impossible.

I personally have cracks and scars along my soul from trauma and IBD. Finding friends, sisters really, among GWG allowed me to accept my faults and identify what wounds still need to heal.”

The Girls With Guts community continues to expand in ways I never even anticipated. Having been a part of the GWG Board since 2013, I am amazed at the strength, resilience, and sisterhood that we’ve built.

We just closed our applications for our 2020 New Attendee Retreat and received more than 70 this year! We are also booked for our 2020 Annual Retreat! There are more details on that below.

In 2020, we also plan to:

– Continue to send out free “I Gotta Go” Cards on demand to women in the United States and Canada.

– Work to grow our online and in-person presence so that we can reach and support more women with IBD and/or an ostomy.

– Overhaul our Butt Basket program to expand access (increase the number of qualifying situations) and self-care items included.

– Table at Digestive Disease Week, allowing us the opportunity to network within a meeting of nearly 15,000 health care professionals and industry leaders in gastroenterology.

Thank you for your love in 2019!

We are eager to move into 2020 – a new decade- feeling renewed, supported, and stronger than ever before!

 

• About The Author
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Alicia puts a little bit of “brotherly love” into everything she does. She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University where she studied Television, Radio, & Film. She now works as a freelance editor, producer, videographer, and photographer. Alicia was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 14 and when she was re-diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 22, Girls With Guts was just starting out. Her passion for GWG was instantaneous as she had not had that kind of support before. She has been on the board of Girls With Guts since 2013 starting out as Director of Multimedia and has now served as President since 2017. She’s always had a knack for bringing ideas to life and that is where her passion and Girls With Guts merged. If she’s not helping to further the overall vision of Girls With Guts, you can catch her raising awareness about her personal IBD journey whenever she can.
My love/hate relationship ICYMI: 2019 IBD Awareness Week

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