The availability of the latest technology in Belfast City for the treatment of different eye disorders, as well as advertisements of the different surgical procedures online like in LaserEyeSurgeryBelfast.co.uk has proven the importance that is being placed in addressing eye problems. Raising awareness, however, does not only appear to be limited to diseases associated with the eyes as a radiant Belfast City Hall illuminated a purple color last May 19. The said event symbolizes a local charity’s desire to raise awareness for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Northern Ireland. Andrew Mulholland, trustee of the mentioned charity, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, one of the two kinds comprising inflammatory bowel disease. In an interview, he said that that the main reason for this movement was that he felt as if there was a lack of support system in Northern Ireland, considering that there were over 7,000 people there battling with the disease. Andrew was diagnosed at age 15 and he experienced the grave consequence of dropping to a weight he described to be as light as 8 stones, far lower than his normal weight which was comparable to 15 stones.
The charity set only a year ago called Let’s Talk about Crohn’s and Colitis Northern Ireland was set up by Andrew and two other girls diagnosed with Colitis, the other disease that makes up IBD. The idea of lighting up the hall at World IBD day occurred to them as a remarkable mark of respect for everyone who is affected by these diseases. Before the event, the local charity appealed to those willing to volunteer and help out on the actual event. Fundraising events leading to people coming together, having a little conversation about the condition, and learning more technicalities about the Crohn’s disease and Colitis were some of the key events that took place. According to Andrew, the idea seemed impossible to take place at first despite of having good connections with both the local councilors and representatives since the venue was allowed to be used only in very limited major events like St. Patrick’s Day. To the local charity’s surprise, everything turned out according to their plans.
Raising awareness for IBD was something Andrew and the whole team was evidently determined to achieve. He believed that the lighting up of such a special hall can clearly send out an important message to everyone: IBD does exist and there are people constantly battling with this incurable disease that will greatly appreciate any support they can get from healthy and unhealthy individuals of Northern Ireland.