Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affect more than 3 million people in the US. We know many friends and family members who are dealing with these debilitating diseases,” explains East Cobber Brett Williams. “In addition, my wife, Nicole, was a Physician Assistant in GI and saw so many IBD patients.” Williams is currently on the board of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Georgia Chapter.

“It was an easy decision to get involved with the Foundation,” says Williams. “It has been great seeing the many advancements over the years in different therapies, but there is still a long way to go. We just wanted to be part of making a difference as it relates to IBD and to do what we could to help our community.”   

East Cobb Resident Shares Importance of Upcoming Crohn's & Colitis Foundation’s Torch Gala 1

Brett and Nicole Williams

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s annual Torch Gala will be held on October 15 at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta. The goal: to raise more than $520,000, with proceeds going toward funding critical research, to better treat and ultimately cure Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, chronic autoimmune diseases.

“I have been involved with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation for about two years,” says Williams. “When I joined Aprio, LLP a few years ago, it was great to see how involved the firm already was in the Foundation.  When the opportunity came up to help with the Board, I was excited for an additional opportunity to support a great cause.” 

“I don’t think people understand how many people are dealing with IBD,” says Williams. “With one out of every 100 people suffering with IBD, almost everyone knows someone who is dealing with the disease. But unlike a lot of diseases, IBD is not something people are always comfortable talking about or letting people know that they are suffering from.”

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the largest non-profit voluntary health agency dedicated to finding cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improving the quality of life of those affected. 3.1 million Americans and an estimated 100,000 Georgians are living with IBD.  The Torch Gala is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Foundation’s Georgia Chapter.

“The money raised at the Gala is used for a myriad of things such as research and community support,” says Williams. “The community support functions, especially for children and young adults, are extremely impactful. Camp Oasis is an amazing place. Camp Oasis has been helping children with IBD for over 15 years, and many children that went through the program are now supporting the camp as counselors. To create a safe place for children dealing with similar issues is amazing. When you can make a long-term impact on a young person’s life, that is always worth the money raised during events such as the annual Gala.”

Williams adds, “The more awareness we can create, the faster we can treat these people that are suffering.”

For more information about the Gala, visit: Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Torch Gala, or call 404.982.0616.