About IBD Podcast Episode 146 - IBD Connect With Lisa Fournier

IBD Connect With Lisa Fournier – About IBD Podcast Episode 146

A diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, IBD) affects the entire family. When it’s a child that’s diagnosed, it changes so many things and brings a host of challenges. Families experience many unmet needs related to IBD. My guest is Lisa Fournier of IBD Connect. Lisa is the mother of two children who live with IBD. Her experiences in helping them manage IBD at different stages in life compelled her to be a support for others. She worked with her local hospital to start a support group and eventually founded IBD Connect. Learn about the programs IBD Connect offers and how the community can support their important mission.


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Episode transcript and more information at: https://bit.ly/AIBD146

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Transcript

[Music: IBD Dance Party]

Amber Tresca 0:00
I’m Amber Tresca and this is About IBD.

Amber Tresca 0:11
I’m a medical writer and patient educator who lives with a j-pouch due to ulcerative colitis. It’s my mission to educate people living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis about their disease and to bring awareness to the patient journey.

Amber Tresca 0:24
Welcome to Episode 146.

Amber Tresca 0:27
A diagnosis of IBD doesn’t only affect the person living with the condition. It has an effect on the entire family. IBD patients experience many unmet needs. One of the biggest gaps is in support for parents, families, and caregivers who have a child living with IBD. 

Amber Tresca 0:45
My guest is Lisa Fournier of IBD Connect. Lisa is the mother of two children who live with IBD. When her youngest was diagnosed at the age of 4, she experienced firsthand how little support there was available for her family. She worked with her local hospital to start a support group. Years later, with her children now grown, she founded IBD Connect.

Lisa tells me about why and how she started IBD Connect, what programs are currently being offered, and how the community — that means you, dear listener — can support their mission.

Amber Tresca 1:25
Lisa, welcome to About IBD.

Lisa Fournier 1:28
Thank you, Amber, I’m thrilled to be here.

Amber Tresca 1:31
First, please. I wonder if you would take a minute and introduce yourself to the audience.

Lisa Fournier 1:36
Yes, my name is Lisa Fournier. And I have two daughters who have Crohn’s disease. And I am the founder of IBD Connect.

Amber Tresca 1:48
So Lisa, as you just stated, you have two children who live with an IBD. So let’s get into it. Would you start by telling me a little bit about when they were diagnosed, and what their disease journey has been like so far?

Lisa Fournier 2:07
Absolutely. It’s kind of funny because one of my daughters was diagnosed at the age of four. She is now 25. She’s an RN in Colorado, but she was very young when she was diagnosed. And my other daughter Jamie was diagnosed at the age of 28. So I had a little bit of experience with both ends of the spectrum. We’re having a very young child, and also having an older adult diagnosed Randy’s journey. My young, the one who was diagnosed at four was very difficult.

Lisa Fournier 2:43
She was, she is the youngest of four children. Her disease came on fast and furious. So to bring that kind of chaos into a house of her being the youngest, it really it shook everybody up, we all had our own struggles and our own, you know, journey with it.

Lisa Fournier 3:03
However, her first eight years were trial and error with oral medications. They didn’t prescribe the biologics right off the bat with her. So she failed on biologics for eight years, which was very difficult to see very difficult for her to experience. And then when she did get put on the biologic she had, she still had symptoms, but it was it was a game changer. It was much better for her.

Lisa Fournier 3:34
And then, when she was about 14, I would say she really kind of felt the separation from her friends. She missed out on so much school. She didn’t have a typical peer group that she could relate to. She had a few friends that were very close, but it wasn’t the same as what some of the other kids have. So that’s where the initial let’s find a support group came from when she was in nursing school. through college. She had an adverse reaction to her Remicade and ended up back at the drawing board with another medication and her last semester of nursing school complicate that with COVID. And it was a very, very difficult journey for her. She seems to be much more balanced now. And she as an adult and an RN is much better at balancing it.

Lisa Fournier 4:33
My other daughter Jaime growing up she was she really helped me with Randi a lot. She was my right arm. She was very concerned about her little sister. She went to every appointment with me. When she was diagnosed as an adult. It was actually kind of difficult because she hadn’t grown up with it. Yeah, we’re Randy knew nothing of life before the disease. Jamie knew nothing of life with Disease and saw how I really struggled. And I think it was like a fear factor too. So they do have very different roads that they traveled. And of course, the road I traveled as a mother, you know that it wasn’t very smooth. Not with either child nor with the others, the two that were boys that I mean, it was just a struggle all the way around.

Amber Tresca 5:23
So with Randi, what year was that? Was that? Early aughts? 2001 2002.

Lisa Fournier 5:31
She was born in 98. So yeah, so it will be about 2002.

Amber Tresca 5:34
So when she was diagnosed, also, they weren’t really using biologics, I think, in kids, and in really little kids,

Lisa Fournier 5:42
No, not for children, not for children, if they had to be really severe. And they also had to, they had to fail on the medications after a certain amount of time before they could move them up to the next level, which is absolutely painful to see your child struggling like that, especially now that I know how much being on the biologics got to help them prior to all these meds. So

Amber Tresca 6:06
if the biologics had been available to her, Do you think that you would have said yes to that? I’ve talked to so many parents who would prefer who would have preferred not to use biologics? in a, in a smaller child? They a lot of times have concerns?

Lisa Fournier 6:20
Yeah, I don’t I don’t think I actually would have. I mean, you put on any TV show when you hear them talking about the medications? And I mean, the list of side effects that they can have is, you know, it’s terrifying. It’s terrifying. So to put that into a child at the age of four or six or whatever, young age No, I don’t think I would have done it. To be honest. It wasn’t till I didn’t have a choice.

Amber Tresca 6:46
Right. Yeah. It also concerns me too, that at such a young age, you have your whole life to live and are you going to burn through all of your medical options? Like that’s something that I think about too, with the young people that are diagnosed?

Lisa Fournier 7:03
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s like, where do you go from here? You know, it’s like, once you once you burn through them, and yes, they come up with new medications. And you know, but I mean, you don’t want to be in a situation where your disease is so severe that you just keep going through them.

Amber Tresca 7:19
And you brought up an interesting point, too, that I think about a lot. I was diagnosed at 16. So kind of, you know, it’s in the middle between your two children. And so I had, I don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager without, or a young adult living with a condition like this. But between the two of them, they’re both hard. But the difference being, as you said, Jamie, knew life without it, and then I think you have to change your habits as an adult. I was wondering if that’s harder in a way?

Lisa Fournier 7:56
Well, it’s kind of funny, because I see that, you know, Randi is so nonchalant about it, like, it’s not a big deal. You know, she wasn’t, she was in nursing school once, and she called me. And she’s like, oh, when you get the bill from the ER. I had MRSA. But don’t worry, I’m still studying for my exam. And I’m, like, sitting here, like, someone just pulled the carpet out from under my feet. And it was so nonchalant. Like, I’ve still got my books. Her concern was having her books with her to study in the ER. I mean, that is not normal.

Amber Tresca 8:30
It is to her.

Lisa Fournier 8:34
Totally normal to her totally normal, whatever. And I’m just like, Okay, I’ll watch for the bill.

Amber Tresca 8:44
That’s hilarious. But it also to me is, that story is so indicative a person of a person living with IBD. That’s how we all are. We’ve just learned to roll with the punches. I don’t know that that’s always the right way to be.

Lisa Fournier 9:01
Well, I guess the alternative is worse. Like if you’re going to be really like every little bump and bruise is going to horrify you, at least she has. She has the courage to just keep going. Right?

Amber Tresca 9:15
For sure. And then sometimes when you tell your story to people, they might be shocked, because you almost never talk about it because it’s a part of your life. And you’ve sort of internalized it and normalized it. And then when you bring it up, people go, I had no idea you were living with all of this.

Lisa Fournier 9:33
Yeah, I actually I faced that a lot. And it’s kind of funny because people I often get the question, since you have children with IBD Why do you do this? Don’t you ever want to like, not deal with it anymore? Do you know what I’m saying? Like almost take a break from it now that my children are adults. And absolutely no, it took the opposite on me.

[MUSIC: About IBD Transition]

Amber Tresca 10:01
Coming up next, learn about the programs that IBD Connect offers, including their Warrior Bags.

Amber Tresca 10:18
As you said, you have a deep connection with the IBD community, because of your two daughters, but also because you have founded the nonprofit IBD Connect. So let’s get into that. Tell me about IBD Connect and why you founded it. I think I can probably guess what, why, but and also what your mission is.

Lisa Fournier 10:41
Okay, so when I had mentioned about my daughter looking for peer peer groups, we were looking for a support group in the area that she could go to, and we couldn’t find one. So being the personalities we are we said, Okay, we’ll just stop one. So we actually did, we did do that.

Lisa Fournier 11:02
And then I found that, as she got older, and more people would join the group, I kind of found that they would like to talk about things that was that were going on. And I, I had been there. I had been there, I had made that mistake, I had, you know, done exactly what they did. And I said, Well, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to help them with the things that I stumbled over and learned by experience, what a great thing it could be to help other families. So support groups weren’t enough for me.

Lisa Fournier 11:40
So I decided to start this company so that I could provide financial resources. And mostly, I felt that with Randy being part of the group, that it was so important for these kids to be empowered to help somebody else, there is nothing that makes you feel better about your own illness than to help someone else struggling with theirs. So our mission is to support patients when they have first diagnose, engage them in activities that teach them about their illness, and empower them to make a difference for someone else. So we support, engage and empower pediatric families. And that is where it all began.

Amber Tresca 12:26
It’s an incredibly important mission. And now you have grown. So take me through some of the things that your group does. And I want to start with the support groups, because that is where you started. Can you tell me about how you began the groups? What kind of groups that you have today? And maybe if you’re looking to expand into something in the future.

Lisa Fournier 12:52
Okay, um, yeah, well, we had just, we had a support group that met once a month in Worcester, at UMass Memorial Medical Center. That’s where it all began, I have so much support from UMass. And the physicians and the families that it was actually a very easy start for me. So I started my groups there. But we, we have patients from many, many hospitals, you know, they’re not all affiliated with UMass. They’re affiliated with all different hospitals. But anyway, we started with that. And I began the company in 2019. I had been doing support groups for probably six years when I started the company.

Lisa Fournier 13:36
And then COVID Quickly put a stop to that, because we couldn’t meet in person. So I learned how to do virtual meetings, which I am not tech savvy, as you just figured out, but I managed. It’s called Zoom. Anyway. So I was, I was able to start virtual meetings, which kinda is really kind of funny, because we ended up getting families from all over the country. Sure, who would jump on. So we now currently have our in person meeting that does meet once a month, we have our virtual family meeting that meets once a month.

Lisa Fournier 14:13
And now I started a caregivers meeting because as a parent, we’re all a little bit crazy. And it’s nice to be able to get online with the crazies and talk us, you know, around your children. Everything’s always perfectly fine. Everything’s good. Yeah, you need, you need to vent. You need to cry, you need to share stories, you need to learn tips. So we have a meeting for just the caregivers once a month. And then we just recently launched a young adults group for ages 18 to 30 because we found that a lot of the kids have aged out of the group. So where they want to still continue to meet now they have a virtual group. So that’s currently what we have for for group meetings.

Amber Tresca 14:59
That’s a lot I gotta say, it’s a lot. But obviously, so needed, because, as you said, you had people joining from all over the country when you were able to open it up on on a virtual meeting. So you do have other programs as well. You have so much going on. It’s It’s It’s incredibly impressive. But…

Lisa Fournier 15:25
Thank you.

Amber Tresca 15:25
You’re welcome.

Amber Tresca 15:25
I’m thinking of three in particular. And you can tell me if there are more. You have Warrior Bags, you have financial assistance, and you have scholarship programs.

Lisa Fournier 15:39
Yes.

Lisa Fournier 15:39
OK, so, the warrior bags, we started these to be able to distribute that we gave them, we donate them to the hospitals, and they are able to distribute them to patients upon diagnosis. It is a very scary moment, when someone walks in your room and says, You have Crohn’s disease, there is no cure. It’s scary for the parent is scary for the child. It’s scary all the way around. So we we develop these warrior bags, and I actually have one here that I can show you what exactly is in it. Well, I will if I can get it out from under my chair…

Amber Tresca 16:30
Lisa’s reaching under her chair to get out one of the warrior bags, so that she can share it with the whole class. So we may or may not cut this depends on whether or not it’s super funny.

Lisa Fournier 16:41
Oh, it’s hysterical. I’m just a hot mess. Okay. All right.

Amber Tresca 16:46
So now Lisa has her warrior bag.

Lisa Fournier 16:49
This is a really cute warrior bag is does warrior says warriors. It’s got a purple ribbon on it. It’s a drawstring bag, and it has a few goodies in it. And it looks very foul. It’s very full. But the secret to the goodies is that. First of all, the kids suggested what we put in it. Oh, yeah, it is all about empowering them. Of course, in some of the things they actually designed. So nice. First, we give them this IBD warrior t shirt. And if you notice it’s not it’s all in black and white because they give a set of fabric markers to color in the superheroes.

Amber Tresca 17:27
Nice.

Lisa Fournier 17:28
So they receive that. And then they receive an IBD Connect water bottle because we all know how important it is to stay hydrated.

Amber Tresca 17:37
We all have to drink that water. I’m terrible at it.

Lisa Fournier 17:42
Maybe I’ll have to send you a water bottle. Then we have donated…the all important bathroom spray.

Amber Tresca 17:53
Ah some poopourri

Lisa Fournier 17:54
Then they get oh, because these are great. These are actually custom designed fabric for our nonprofit. That’s Crohn’s and Colitis warriors. And they’re hand sewn by one of our members.

Amber Tresca 18:09
Wow.

Lisa Fournier 18:10
And you heat them up. And they’re great for like stress relief.

Amber Tresca 18:14
So Lisa, I have some of those not from IBD Connect. But I have some of those heating pads. The one that you just showed was so long, it’s probably twice as long as a lot of the ones that I’ve seen. And it’s amazing because yes, you can get that all the way around your neck. Yeah, the one that I have is too short.

Lisa Fournier 18:38
I am going to send you a package to be a pediatric for a day. All day

Amber Tresca 18:46
Can I have a week because I would really like to be pampered a little bit…

Lisa Fournier 18:49
When I show you my other products you might want to be…great coloring book with a set of colored pencils because we set up doctor’s appointments. Yes. And then they give a deck of cards but the special thing about the deck of cards is we make custom stickers designed by one of the kids I think designed the the sticker I cut them all out on my Cricut machine and they put them on the decks of cards and they have inspirational messages from one child to another. Oh, and last but the best is our stressful shaped like oh j so this bag is given to the kids and I have to tell you, they absolutely love them. Yeah, they have great products. And you know what if it helps them through a difficult time, we’re so happy to do it. So today we’ve given out over 75 of them. Yeah, and you know, they’re they’re just we hear great things from the hospital about them.

Amber Tresca 19:49
I think it’s super important you ask the kids what they would like to receive. I think so many times as adults, we think we know. But when you ask them Then they give you honest responses, then you can truly do the right thing. And the coloring, even when I was diagnosed, I had coloring books, because you’re sick. You know, you really don’t feel like doing anything. What else are you going to do?

Lisa Fournier 20:14
Yes.

Amber Tresca 20:15
So usually sitting somewhere waiting for a test or waiting for the doctor or whatever. And you can always color and now it’s a whole huge industry that they even have so many coloring books for adults, just to release stress.

Lisa Fournier 20:30
So it’s actually really I mean, we’ve we have, you know, the kids absolutely love them. And, you know, every, every time we make a new batch, sometimes we’ll refine something, or just somebody will make a suggestion, and we can update it. But that’s, you know, basically, it’s been the same products, just some, like when we ordered the custom fabric. Yeah. An art student designed to force How could I not? It’s amazing. So it’s a great thing. Well, you’ll see it, I’m gonna send you one.

Amber Tresca 21:02
So Alright, those are fantastic. So what about you have a financial assistance program, which I think is so important and a scholarship program? So how did those two work?

Lisa Fournier 21:14
Yes, we. So Financial Assistance Program? Let me tell you a little story. Yeah. When I was when Randi was, I don’t know, no teens, or I used to have this collection of shoe boxes. One was for the bills that had gone to collection, and one was for the bills that had not, oh, boy, that was still current? Yeah. Because, okay, let’s face it, it’s expensive. Even the best insurance plans leave a lot of out of pocket expense.

Amber Tresca 21:40
100%.

Lisa Fournier 21:41
So this program, is people can apply for financial assistance. If they’re having out of pocket medical expenses, if they’re, let’s say they have a child who needs like a formula, you know, a certain formula or liquid diet or anything, right? That those are not covered by insurance, right? So anytime when someone is in a state of need, there is an application on our website that they can fill out and send it in. And, you know, we take it from there, and we review it. And if we are in a position to help we certainly do.

Lisa Fournier 22:17
Last year, we were able to help four families. And you know, we’re hoping as we grow to be able to do more and more, of course, so that that is the basis of the financial assistance program. Um, you know, it can be, it’s actually pretty well explained on the application, you know, you if you’re out of work, because you’re taking care of your child. And he has, you know, paid family medical leave only covers a certain percentage. There are extenuating circumstances all over the place. And that’s what we try to do, we try to help people.

Amber Tresca 22:50
Which is amazing. And it is truly something that that people need, but it is in short supply, frankly. And then you also have a scholarship program. What does that program look like?

Lisa Fournier 23:02
Every year, we we’ve been able to grow it quite a bit, we used to give a one $500 scholarship to a graduating senior now we’re giving out to $1,000 scholarships. And what it is, is, there’s an essay that they with the application where they have to describe in detail, something positive that came from their diagnosis, because there’s so much negativity that surrounds a chronic illness. But as a family that has lived through it, there are also a lot of blessings that come from it.

Lisa Fournier 23:37
And that’s what we like to see we like to see them go off and be you know, they miss a lot of school. So maybe their grades aren’t where they want them to be, you know what I’m saying? So it’s it’s a little positive thing that’s just for IBD students, you know, the graduating seniors, and hopefully they have gained something positive. And, you know, we’re able to award them a scholarship.

Amber Tresca 24:00
I think that’s probably a question that they’re not very often asked is what is the positive side of living through this? And so thinking about that may also be another avenue into coping with the disease in a different in a different way and thinking about it in a different way.

Lisa Fournier 24:18
Yeah, and I think I think we tend to forget that like, I don’t know about anybody else’s family, but my family, my especially myself and my children, we were so close. We had to learn to work as a unit who’s picking up this child. You know, once one of them got the license, we’re who’s picking up this child. I’m at the hospital all day. You know, who’s still you learn to work as a unit as opposed to doing everything yourself.

Amber Tresca 24:43
You have to. With four it’s all hands on deck.

Lisa Fournier 24:48
Yeah, see, that was crazy. So maybe a little

[MUSIC: About IBD Transition]

Amber Tresca 24:59
Up next: Find out how you can support the mission of IBD Connect.

Amber Tresca 25:15
Alright, so there are ways that you are helping the community, but the community can also help you help IBD connect, what are some of the things that people can do to support your mission? Well,

Lisa Fournier 25:32
That is a really good question. So I actually thought a lot about this one. Like, cuz people often ask, What can I do, of course, so I think the most important thing is to get the word out there that that we are here for them. We are the boots on the ground, there are a lot of organizations that are looking for a cure organizations that are doing research, we like to think of ourselves as a village, we are your IBD village, walking with you, helping you get through this.

Lisa Fournier 26:03
So spreading the word, you know, if you hear a or your doctor’s office or pediatricians office, you don’t put the word out there, you can email me for product, I can send water bottles or whatever, just so that we get the word out because I know the impact of it. And I don’t want to see a child feeling alone. You know, it’s it’s a hard thing.

Lisa Fournier 26:23
Every year, we have a virtual 5k that we do usually, end of September, beginning of October. We’ve had teams formed in South Carolina team in Maine, form a team help us fundraise. Everything we do is through fundraising efforts. And right now we do two fundraisers a year, and that’s it. If you’re local, jump on a meeting, you want to learn about it, our kids would be thrilled to teach you about it. It’s amazing how much they know and how much they want to share and how much it’s empowering to them.

Lisa Fournier 26:55
And you wouldn’t you would be surprised that like listening to a 10 year old child talk about the medications and they can say I’m better than me. Like, it’s amazing. They know about the testing, they know, they know so much. Let them share their information, join a virtual meeting. Or somebody wants to if they know a company that wants to sponsor us, you know, help us out like that array, any of those things, or even address it via email, send me an email. We have new programs, we want to be starting soon. So there’s all we’re always looking for resources.

Amber Tresca 27:32
I think another thing that people can do to support your mission is to share on social media share a link to a support group. So how can people do that so that they can get involved?

Lisa Fournier 27:46
We are both on Instagram and Facebook, under IBD connect Inc. Also, our website has so many resources and all of our products and all of our group meetings, subscribe to our newsletter, we can be found at IBD connect inc.org And they subscribe to our monthly newsletter and it there’s just so much information in it. We also do we do outings a couple times a year, you know and people are invited to join us I love the I love teaching people about it. I love people’s you know, learning getting some knowledge about what IBD is and how it impacts the child. Because it it is a tough journey. It is a very tough journey. Really

Amber Tresca 28:32
And very lonely I think at points especially for for parents and primary caregivers.

Lisa Fournier 28:39
Along the way I actually in my own journey with it. I you know I had several friendships that I had to kind of just back off from because they don’t understand. And that’s that’s a hard thing. And I think putting it in perspective. I often use this analogy when we used to go to the mall back when people went to the mall. Malls are empty now I just want you to know that but and that was the best place to go and all the kids wanted to go to the mall. And I remember my older daughter when she went because she didn’t have Crohn’s yet. And they would talk about what store saver going to where they were going to eat and how the fun and pick us up at four o’clock and when I went with my younger daughter was Crohn’s we talked about where the bathrooms were…

Amber Tresca 29:27
Where the bathrooms are…

Lisa Fournier 29:28
…which stores would allow her to use the bathroom if it was an emergency. And if there was anything that she was able to eat. That is the reality of IBD right there.

Amber Tresca 29:41
Absolutely. Yeah. Well, I’m so impressed with the work that you do. I love your social media. I have of course subscribed to your newsletter. But Lisa, just for a couple of minutes. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to ask you about yourself.

Lisa Fournier 29:58
About me?

Amber Tresca 29:58
She’s like, Oh no, yeah. About a year she’s like, Oh, no, I don’t want to. I don’t want to do that. That’s not right. But Lisa, I read that you love a craft. What kind of you said you have a Cricut machine? And what kind of stuff do you get into with that?

Lisa Fournier 30:13
Yes, I love my Cricut I love to make shirts. I love to make mugs I love to do for my grandchildren. I do their birthday party decorations. I make banners and I love crafting. I don’t have enough time for it, but I absolutely love it. I make scrapbooks for my grandchildren in my spare time. In other words,

Amber Tresca 30:38
Right. I’m so far behind on the baby books and the scrapbooking. And I love a craft. Also, I have a Cricut machine that does not get used often enough, because I’m currently finding it a little overwhelming. But I’ll get there. I primarily do a lot of needle crafts. But something that happened recently, which is so hilarious is that it has taken me so long to fill out the baby books and put in the photos and do all the scrapbooking. That now my children are old enough that they are doing it themselves.

Lisa Fournier 31:17
Well, if it’s any consolation, Randi’s baby book is actually still in the box, and everything. Oh, wait, this gets better. Everything is written on napkins and thrown in the box with. However, however, I did save all my children’s favorite clothes growing up and for their 18th birthday, they did get a quilt made with them.

Amber Tresca 31:37
I love that. I wish I had thought of that I save an awful lot of things. The clothes I really didn’t save.

Lisa Fournier 31:46
I just picked out their favorite pieces. favorite ones. Yeah, the favorite ones growing up like you know the boys ones that say how they can’t stand the sister and the snap, all that good stuff. And then you put it on a t shirt. And it’s like, remember when you would that mean?

Amber Tresca 31:58
Yeah, I will say that all of the little things that I have saved that will eventually go into a baby book or a scrapbook. They are very well organized.

Lisa Fournier 32:09
You are a step ahead of me they might have thrown in a box…

Amber Tresca 32:15
They just haven’t actually made their way into a beautiful book or some other form. And people warned me it would happen. And I said oh no. Definitely happened to me. I’m not new. I am on top of these things. Yeah, little, little Little did I know, I spent the holiday break, going through the 1000s of unorganized photos that I have,

Lisa Fournier 32:46
Oh my goodness.

Amber Tresca 32:47
I am still not done.

Lisa Fournier 32:50
Well, at least they developed I found about 12 instant cameras that have never been done.

Amber Tresca 32:56
I just And also, I have all of the negatives from when we use film. So I have a lot of film. And then I also have a lot of digital that then now I need to decide which ones to get printed. I do I keep the negatives? Do I give them away? I don’t I don’t even know what to do at this point with half of this stuff.

Lisa Fournier 33:16
You know, it’s so overwhelming. It’s it is it’s so overwhelming. And you think going through the discussion and Tricia this forever? I got so desperate once I must use the napkins that I wrote all or I wouldn’t actually do that. But I came close.

Amber Tresca 33:35
Yeah, well, you know, I try to be conscientious about it. But there’s always something that comes up that gets in the way. So

Lisa Fournier 33:45
Like talking to me.

Amber Tresca 33:46
Yeah. Like, you know, talking to anybody really, because I will literally just talk to anybody, which is kind of a problem.

Lisa Fournier 33:58
I think it’s great. I actually really enjoyed talking with you.

Amber Tresca 34:01
Oh, well, I’m glad.

Amber Tresca 34:03
Okay, Lisa, I want to do my part to get the word out so that more people can find you can help support your programs. And then if they are in need of them that they can take advantage of what you have to offer. So thank you so much for speaking with me today, of course, and then also for everything that you’re doing for the IBD community because, you know, you’re seeing who you’re touching. But there is a there is a halo effect to this, in that for every person you touched, they’re going out and they are helping someone else who’s living with IBD or a different chronic condition. And so the extent of it has to go really really far farther than probably you ever intended. And it’s it’s such important work and I’m so glad that you’re doing it. So thank you so much.

Lisa Fournier 34:57
And there’s the blessing right there.

Amber Tresca 35:04
Hey super listener.

Amber Tresca 35:06
Thanks to Lisa Fournier for finding the time to talk to me about IBD Connect. As Lisa said, local nonprofits are really the boots on the ground when it comes to supporting the needs of patients. These groups are where people can meet other families, learn about local resources, and get support when difficult or emergency situations crop up. Be sure to follow IBD Connect on the Instagram and the Facebook, and head to their web site at ibdconnectinc.org

Amber Tresca 35:38
As always, links to a written transcript everyone’s social media handles and more information on the topics we discussed is in the show notes and on my episode 146 page on aboutibd.com

Amber Tresca 35:52
Thanks for listening.

Amber Tresca 35:53
And remember until next time, I want you to know more about IBD

About IBD is a production of Mal and Tal Enterprises.

It is written, produced, and directed by me, Amber Tresca.

Mix and sound design is by Mac Cooney.

Theme music is from Cooney Studio

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