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HAWMC Day 20: The Cure (No, not the band)


Crohnicure! The amazing new cure for Crohn's Disease!

...Nope. I can't do it. I can't make up a cure for Crohn's. However I try to write the next sentence of this announcement, it always ends up way too snarky to be made public.

The thing is, we aren't even sure what causes Crohn's. Sure, there's a lot of speculation out there, but nothing certain. I know I have a gene that caused mine, but the rate of disease in my family has increased dramatically and we have little clue as to why. We just don't know that much about the disease. And, honestly, I don't care to talk about finding a cure too much. I think I've said this before. There are a lot of people out there devoting time and resources to finding a cure and they're doing a lot better job than I ever could. I feel like my place is to talk about the bodily, emotional and cultural impact of Crohn's. I have something to contribute to that conversation.

This prompt also brings to mind something Gloria Steinem said when I saw her speak in February. The big blow-up with Susan G Komen and Planned Parenthood had just gone down and she had been asked to share her view on the subject. Her first words were, "I'm proud to say I never walked one step with the Susan G Komen Foundation." Of course, being Gloria Steinem (herself a breast cancer survivor), she took issue with their refusal to fund such a vital program as Planned Parenthood, but her real issue with the foundation was far more interesting for me.

She said that she had a problem with the fact that the foundation never once mentioned prevention. They focused solely on the cure. She made it very clear that she valued a more rounded approach to cancer research. That seemed pretty profound to me, and like a really effective way of thinking about research.

Let me be clear, I am not saying that it is not necessary to look for a cure. And I certainly don't want to imply that I am an expert on the science of either breast cancer or Crohn's Disease. I just think it's an interesting point. That while looking for a cure is important, we should be doing something in the meantime to reduce the rate at which people are contracting diseases. That there are environmental factors that lead to the development of disease and we, at least to some extent, have control over these things.

Like I said in the beginning, though, there's a reason I don't devote much time to this issue. It is not my area of expertise and I like talking about cultural theory a whole lot more than I like talking about science. If you have a differing opinion or some other insight into this issue, though, I would love to hear it.


  1. Bravo! I love your post! I despised this prompt and thought it...well, I'll save that judgment. But I went instead with the snarky route when I found some great pics online. I am bipolar but no one knows what causes it either. It's all just symptoms. Thanks for your honesty and fierce rebellion!

    1. Thanks, Meredith! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I was also pretty frustrated by the prompt. Heading over to check out yours now!


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