Crohn's and Colitis Canada wants businesses large and small to open their washrooms to those in need
(8 months ago)
TORONTO: Crohn's and Colitis Canada is taking aim at a serious hurdle many Canadians with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis face - accessing washrooms on the go.
November is Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Month, and the national charity is advocating that public washroom access is a right, not a privilege, and for the Canadians living with these chronic diseases, it's a critical need.
Crohn's and colitis are debilitating, yet often invisible, autoimmune diseases. They cause the body to attack healthy tissue, leading to the inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. Symptoms include diarrhea, internal bleeding, and abdominal pain, and result in the frequent and urgent need to use the washroom, in some cases over 20 times a day.
"During flare-ups of the disease, when symptoms are at their worst, some people feel like they're living in the washroom. There's hesitation to even leave the house out of fear that a washroom won't be available when needed," explains Mina Mawani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Crohn's and Colitis Canada. "Canada should lead the way in setting an example for the world, by making washroom access a basic human right to reduce the anxiety for the millions of people living with incontinence issues."
The GoHere Washroom Access Program lets businesses sign on to open their washrooms to those in need. Those businesses, along with other public washroom locations, are mapped in the GoHere mobile app. Users can use the app to find nearby washrooms, and plan routes based on where washrooms are along the way.
"After introducing the GoHere Program in Calgary, we're ready to expand across the country," Mawani says. "But we need support to make this a success. We're asking Canadian businesses and organizations to register their washrooms on the GoHere app, and help make a difference for people living with Crohn's or colitis."