When Wellington resident Joel Levine’s daughter was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, he vowed to do everything in his power to help find cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affects more than 1.6 million Americans. They are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system.
Along with his wife, Levine, a founding partner in the West Palm Beach law firm Caler, Donten, Levine, Cohen, Porter & Veil P.A., has shown his commitment to finding a cure by raising more than $140,000 over the past four years for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s (CCFA) Take Steps program.
Last year alone, the Levines and 52 CDL employees raised more than $45,000 for the Take Steps Walk in West Palm Beach. And with the 2015 West Palm Beach walk scheduled to occur on Saturday, Nov. 7 at CityPlace, the firm is raising money again this year.
More than 83 cents of every dollar raised through fundraising programs goes directly to support research and patient support services. Funds raised through Take Steps go directly to support many of CCFA’s current research programs, including its Microbiome Initiative, Genetics Initiative, Pediatric Risk Study and CCFA Partners program. These programs are making strides in finding better treatments and potential cures.
CCFA-supported research has determined that the gut microbiome — bacteria and viruses that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract — plays a key role in the onset and progression of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. CCFA’s Microbiome Initiative has developed cutting-edge tools and techniques that have catapulted the field forward and led to significant progress in our understanding of the microbiome. Meanwhile, the Genetics Initiative, scientists have identified 163 genes associated with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.
The Pediatric Risk Study was designed to predict which pediatric patients will likely develop the most severe versions of the diseases. CCFA Partners is an online research initiative that uses state-of-the-art technology to engage and gather information from patients that researchers then study and analyze.