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Donna McGee is celebrating her 25th year as a nurse and tenth year as an infusion nurse and she can’t think of any better way to celebrate those accomplishments than by being our 2023 Patient Advocate Honoree at Take Steps Philadelphia.

After leaving her career as a stage manager in NYC and nationwide production tours, Donna switched careers and started her journey into nursing.  Since then, she’s witnessed the struggle of chronic illness with her family and patients and has embraced the importance of compassionate care and passionate patient advocacy.

Donna was first introduced to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation in the 1990’s when seeking help for her mom, as she navigated her new life with Celiac disease and a colostomy bag. She never would have guessed that 30 years later, she’d be known as the nurse at the walk with purple hair and now have Honored Hero status! In those early meetings, The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation was a lifeline in the chaos of bowel disease.

For Donna, as a patient advocate, she hopes to destigmatize IBD for patients and help them to accept their individual diagnosis and move forward with positivity. She will always fight for her patients, because a good quality of life is not an option–it’s a necessity.  Throughout her career as an infusion nurse, she’s developed friendships that will last a lifetime and she feels privileged to provide comfort to her patients with the coveted “hole-in-one” on infusion days, jokes to lighten the mood, and the joy that comes over time when symptoms are under control, or better yet, in remission.

Participating in the Take Steps Festival for the past five years has been an opportunity to give back to the IBD community.  Every year, it is always exciting to see the familiar faces and the new participants just stepping into the IBD world. Donna personally has had a blast shining a light on the Foundation and its goal of finding a cure for IBD.

Donna lives by a quote from a song written in 1945 by Alma Bazel Androzzo, “If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living will not be in vain.”

Millions of Americans live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis — you likely know someone affected by one of these invisible and incurable diseases. Despite this, many do not fully understand these diseases (collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD) and how they impact daily life.

That’s why I’m participating in Take Steps, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s largest nationwide fundraising campaign — to raise awareness and funds to accelerate the progress of breakthrough research and to support critical patient programs. Will you support me with a donation or join me in fundraising for Take Steps? 

Please help me reach my personal goal so that, together, we can support the crucial work of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Your donation to my fundraising efforts will help the Foundation invest in cures for the future, while providing support to patients today.


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