Get Your Belly Out is an innovative social media campaign run by Victoria Marie, Lorna Haymes and Gem Willingham, three women who have personal experience living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Created in 2014, the campaign has raised more than £65,000 and gained international media coverage and support. Get Your Belly Out has become much more than a social media campaign, it's united a community of supporters and even hosts meet ups across the country.
When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease I knew nothing about it. I felt so isolated and alone so I searched and found Crohn's and Colitis UK. Since that day I've being passionate about raising money and awareness for Crohn's and Colitis UK. Individually myself and my family have raised over £8,000 for Crohn's & Colitis UK with local fundraising events. I'm honoured to be asked to be a Community Champion, but without our loyal GetYourBellyOut supporters and followers we wouldn't have such a strong campaign going. So it is thanks to them that we are Champions.
I've had Crohn's Disease for roughly 15 years and in that time I've faced a lot of complications health wise. This aside I've also had to deal with many misconceptions about the illness. I've been made to feel at times that the illness was my own fault, I was exaggerating the pain, making up symptoms such as my reactive arthritis and fatigue this left me feeling isolated and lonely. I wanted to work alongside the charity to help highlight and hopefully improve the difficulties people affected with IBD face in their daily lives. I don't want anyone to feel isolated or lonely like I once did.
I hope to continue bringing important issues to the table to help implement improvements which are long overdue. I wish to ensure that the charity is able to provide a range of support for those newly diagnosed and can also support those who may already be some way down the road in tackling their journey with the disease. My aim is to help people access the right support as unlocking the right support can make the world of difference, it's one reason why we're so passionate about the #GetYourBellyOut campaign. The overall hope is to create a lasting change.