March Edition

Take advantage of our Programs and Resources

Joshua Denton's ulcerative colitis story with GHLF

Get involved! Be aware...

Let's welcome COCCI's new staff

COCCI's moving on up!

Take advantage of our Programs and Resources

Meet the Medic on March 8th

Meet Dr. Rashad Wilkerson, a gastroenterologist and Navy captain, on March 8th at 6:30PM.

Our program, Meet the Medic, is your opportunity as a community member to have an up close and personal conversation with a medical professional.

Next Wednesday, Dr. Wilkerson will share information about his decision to become a physician and what it means to help decrease the inequities in health care in black and brown communities.

Meet Dr. Wilkerson

COCCI has a new book club!

Join us on Sunday, March 12th at 3:00PM to discuss "A Sick Life" by Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins

Reading has numerous benefits like reducing stress, promoting self care, improving critical thinking and sleep, and even helps to lessen cognitive decline. Led by our Ambassador, Crystal Umaru, COCCI's launching our new book club to build connections and expand our minds.

Join Our Book Club

Living with IBD

Takeda launches Living With IBD to support patients navigate life with IBD.

We’ve all heard the phrase “trust your gut.” For people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), trusting one’s gut is not so simple. When the body sounds an alarm that something doesn’t feel right, taking that internal voice seriously and actively speaking up is critical. For someone starting to feel the pain or flares associated with IBD, learning to trust your gut first means listening to your symptoms.


Takeda recently launched Living With IBD, to help support people living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC) navigate life with IBD. Living With IBD recognizes that the pain of IBD is real and these chronic diseases can be mentally and physically exhausting, and sometimes hard to talk about.


The information and resources included on aim to help people better understand IBD, equip patients with the information and tools needed to have productive and honest conversations with healthcare providers, and connect patients with community resources like COCCI.


To learn more, please visit

Joshua Denton's ulcerative colitis story with GHLF

Global Healthy Living Foundation honored Black History Month by featuring remarkable stories of Black patients thriving with chronic illness. One of those patients was Joshua Denton, a COCCI ambassador. Here's an insert from his interview:

"My journey with ulcerative colitis began my senior year of high school. I had what I would probably now consider to be relatively minor symptoms — such as abdominal pain and some discomfort during bowel movements. Less than a year later, I noticed a little bit of blood in my stool. That’s what catapulted me to disclose my symptoms to my parents."

Read more on Joshua's story...

Get involved! Be aware...

COCCI joins Autoimmune Association during March for #AutoimmuneAwarenessMonth!

Awareness is critical to advancing research and improving care for people affected by autoimmune disease, including IBD.

An autoimmune disease is a condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages healthy body tissue and cells, rather than protecting the body as it was designed to do. The exact cause of autoimmune diseases is not fully understood, but they are thought to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Get Involved

National Nutrition Month and the Medical Nutrition Equity Act

National Nutrition Month is one of many awareness campaigns COCCI supports. One of COCCI's priorities under this topic is the Medical Nutrition Equity Act that is expected to be reintroduced in the 118th Congress this year.

Medical nutrition is an important treatment option for patients with IBD related digestive diseases. Currently, insurance coverage for medically necessary food varies widely, and many people do not have coverage.

We encourage you to learn more and take action on this critical piece of legislation.

Take Action Today

A Real Picture of Health: Latesha Harrison

Latesha Harrison's story on Medical Nutrition was part of our Advocacy Campaign, "A Real Picture of Health". Her experience is one of the reasons why we need to see change!

Watch Latesha's Story

Diversity in Rare Diseases

NORD has joined forces with the Rare Disease Diversity Coalition (RDDC), the nation’s leading voice for alleviating the disproportionate burden of rare diseases on communities of color, to conduct a first-ever national survey of underrepresented rare disease patients and caregivers to better understand their unique perspectives and experiences in accessing and affording health care.

Please take a few minutes to share your voice, insights, and experiences to help The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and Rare Disease Diversity Coalition uncover gaps and barriers to access experienced by underrepresented communities. This innovative effort can help us make huge strides for individuals and families suffering from rare disease.

Share Your Voice

Let's welcome COCCI's new staff...

Olga Arnold

Care Connection Coordinator

COCCI's moving on up!

COCCI turns 3 in April and we're looking to create a home base for not only our team, but our community members as well. Our mission is to improve the quality of live for BIPOC who are affected by IBD, Digestive Disorders and association Chronic Illnesses; through Community, Research, Education, and Advocacy.

We hope you can support us in this venture of creating a safe space for our community. Make a donation today!

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