Tell us about a club, business, or nonprofit that you have started.
No Colon Still Rollin’ is a nonprofit organization that I created to advocate and spread awareness for patients with IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) when I was 12 years old. Throughout middle school, I was on numerous medication therapy drugs that ultimately failed which resulted in a long couple of years. When I was 15 years old, I had my first of seven surgeries over the course of the next four years. Going through all of this at such a young age forced me to stop playing sports, spend countless days in the hospital, miss a lot of school, and not be able to hang out with friends like a normal teenager would. This pushed me to grow as an individual and become more independent during these unfortunate circumstances.
After my first surgery, I designed my first ever No Colon Still Rollin’ t-shirt to sell to family and close friends. Slowly, more and more people were asking about the shirts and how they could purchase them. My initial intent with the shirt was to spread awareness about UC and Crohn’s, but after developing the No Colon Still Rollin’ nonprofit, I am striving to impact the lives of other patients like me so they can live better, healthier lives. Through a relationship with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF), I am able to help fund areas of their research to better improve drugs that treat UC and Crohn’s, so kids and adults never have to have a major organ removed to make them feel better.
What inspired you to create this nonprofit?
My inspiration to start No Colon Still Rollin’ was fueled through my passion for change and advocacy. Throughout my life, I have been surrounded by individuals (mostly kids) that have had to fight every day to get healthy. Knowing that I have the ability to live a “healthy” life due to the treatments I have had over the years, has given me the drive to advocate for this disease. Currently, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s are not curable, and that is one of the many reasons why I donate all of my profit to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation in hopes of changing that.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting this nonprofit?
The most rewarding aspect of No Colon Still Rollin’ is knowing that I am educating more and more people about Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. Every day, I see at least one No Colon Still Rollin’ t-shirt or sweatshirt, and it makes me so happy to see this movement growing and spreading around Butler and the entire Indy community.
What is your long-term goal for this nonprofit?
My goal is to donate a total of $50,000 to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation (CCF) by the end of my undergraduate career. To date, I have donated $35,000.
What advice would you give another student who may be considering starting their own nonprofit?
Ask yourself, “am I truly passionate about what I want to start?” Having passion toward something is what separates those who are and are not successful. My biggest passion is philanthropy. Being able to help others through an event, organization, or movement is a feeling like no other. It is so rewarding knowing the impact you are making is much bigger than you can ever imagine.