Crohn’s and Colitis Canada awards 15 post-secondary students $5,000 scholarship through AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program 2022

Inaugural scholarship launched in memory of the first grant recipient, Clinton Shard

TORONTO, September 21, 2022 /CNW/ – Crohn’s and Colitis Canada has awarded 15 post-secondary students each a $5,000 AbbVie IBD Fellowship Program Grant. A deserving recipient also received the award Clinton Shard Memorial Scholarship. Clinton was the first grant recipient in 2012 who made significant contributions to the IBD community and those around him, and passed away peacefully in 2022. This will become an annual grant.

“Back to school can be a little different when you’re immunocompromised, especially after the past two years and more, and we’re thrilled to help offset the costs for these truly inspiring students,” said Lori Radke, President and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. “We are committed to supporting the growing number of Canadians living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, whether through grants, research or other forms of action.”

“At AbbVie, we strive to empower Canadians with IBD to live their full lives, which is why we are so proud to partner with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada on this meaningful program,” said Tracey Ramsay, Vice President and General Manager of AbbVie Canada. “Too many students living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis have to delay their post-secondary education because of their disease. We are pleased that these scholarships are playing a part in supporting the pursuit of advanced university education for students living with IBD so that they too can live their best lives.”

“Clinton was a shining light in the lives of all he touched, and honoring his legacy of positivity, perseverance and generosity through this annual grant allows Clinton’s memory to continue to inspire others,” said declared Wendy’s Shard, Clinton’s mother. “We’ve seen firsthand the challenges of living with a chronic, immunocompromised condition; it’s an opportunity to support someone else’s journey.”

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and AbbVie Canada congratulate the 2022 AbbVie IBD Scholarship recipients:

  • Leah CaplanUniversity of Calgary
  • (Brian) Hsien Heng Chou – University of British Columbia
  • Kacie HaberlinUniversity of British Columbia
  • Yasaman Bahojb Habibyan – University of Alberta
  • Demetrius KucUniversity of Alberta
  • Taylor MorgansteinMcGill university
  • Samantha (Sam) MorinMcMaster University
  • (Adrien) Graem MorphyToronto Metropolitan University
  • Ashley PatelToronto Metropolitan University
  • Harleen RandhawaMcMaster University
  • Hailey RochaUniversity of Toronto
  • Sophie RussoUniversity of British Columbia
  • (Jules) Julia VerdugoMcMaster University
  • Kaylee Wilmot-JoeUniversity of New Brunswick
  • Camille ZimmerUniversity of Victoria

The prevalence of Crohn’s disease and colitis in Canada

Canada has one of the highest incidence rates of inflammatory bowel disease in the world – the main forms of IBD being Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Affecting one in 140 Canadians (300,000), Crohn’s disease and colitis develop everywhere Canada. Researchers estimate that the number of people affected will reach 400,000 Canadians by 2030. These chronic diseases can be diagnosed at any age, but the typical age of onset is early adulthood, usually between 20 and 29 years – a period when young adults pursue post-secondary education and take the first step in their career. Crohn’s disease and colitis cause the body to attack healthy tissue in the intestines, causing inflammation of part or all of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The most common symptoms include severe abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, internal bleeding, and the unpredictable and urgent need to go to the bathroom.

Learn more about the AbbVie IBD Fellowship Program

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada partnered with AbbVie Canada in 2012 to launch the AbbVie National IBD Scholarship Program to help students achieve their academic goals while making a lasting and meaningful difference in their communities.

Since its inception, the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program has awarded 124 scholarships to deserving post-secondary students. This money helps immunocompromised students to devote more time to their studies, to pursue their passions and to get involved in causes close to their hearts, because the disruptive and debilitating nature of the diseases affects the ability to attend classes or to work to pay tuition and other educational costs.

The first grant in memory of Clinton Shard

Clinton Shard was one of the first recipients of the AbbVie IBD Scholarship Program in 2012, a giver in every sense of the word, a true lover of nature and the outdoors, and never let his illness define him . But above all, he was a beacon of positivity and inspiration. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 12, Clinton lived every day with the idea that an IBD diagnosis shouldn’t stop anyone from achieving their goals. Not only was Clinton an important member of the Canadian Crohn’s disease and colitis community, giving back and supporting others, but he also celebrated several great accomplishments, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at the age of 16 years old and his participation in an expedition to Everest base camp in Nepal the next year. Her final act of selflessness and inspiration was to begin the process of creating a grant in her memory to ease the stress of others through their journey with IBD. This materialized thanks to the Clinton Shard Memorial AbbVie IBD Scholarship, which will be an annual grant of $5,000 to a Canadian post-secondary student.

To learn more about the AbbVie IBD Fellowship program and recipients, please visit

About Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada continues a relentless journey to find the cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improve the lives of all those affected by these chronic conditions. Collectively, with the support of volunteers, researchers, donors and the community, we are transforming the lives of those affected by Crohn’s disease and colitis through research, patient programs, advocacy and awareness. . For more information, visit and follow us @getgutsycanada on Twitter, Facebookand instagram.

About AbbVie Canada

We are a company that takes on the toughest health challenges.

AbbVie’s mission is to discover and deliver innovative medicines that solve the serious health problems of today and meet the medical challenges of tomorrow. We strive to have a remarkable impact on people’s lives in several key therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, neuroscience, eye care, virology, women’s health and gastroenterology, in addition products and services from its Allergan Aesthetics portfolio. For more information about AbbVie, visit us at and Follow @abbviecanada on Twitter or find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and instagram.

SOURCE Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Angie Specic, VP, Marketing and Communications, Tel. (416) 388-1123, Email: [email protected]

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