A Word from Great Comebacks® Program Founder, Rolf Benirschke

Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and colorectal cancer are lonely diseases that often involve difficult surgery. It’s hard to talk about diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. The problem is that if you don’t talk about it, you don’t allow anyone into your world and you can become reclusive.

After I had my ostomy in 1979 and then returned to playing professional football, nearly everywhere I went, someone would say to me, “Rolf, you are the only other person I know who has what I have.” That’s really how the Great Comebacks™ Program began, through the realization that by opening up you can find help and support.

Through Great Comebacks, patients learn from others who know what it is like to have these diseases and to go through this surgery. They have had the same doubts and wondered the same things: How can I travel? How can I play sports? How can I have an intimate relationship?

They share their stories, their spirit and their strength to help patients and their family members see that these challenges can be overcome.

For more than twenty years of Great Comebacks, we have found incredible testimonies of courage, perseverance, and commitment. Yet, one of the biggest challenges we still have is the lack of awareness and understanding that you can get through this and the misperception that you have to put your life on hold.

That’s why the need for encouragement and hope continues. Slowly yet steadily, we are raising the consciousness level of the public to where everyone will know someone who has faced these diseases and is now doing great.

That’s the goal of Great Comebacks.

With warm regards,

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