Hero photograph
Nicole Thornton and Allyson Bain
Photo by Crohn's & Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust

Annual Scientific Meeting for the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology.

Dr Malcolm Arnold, President of NZSG. —

As the President of the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology (NZSG), it was my privilege and pleasure to introduce two very inspirational young women at our Annual Scientific Meeting in Wellington this past November.

CCNZ Youth Ambassador, Nicole Thornton, and disability rights lawyer, Allyson Bain, both of whom have Crohn’s disease, talked eloquently and passionately about life issues faced by people with IBD. Most importantly, they showed us how one person can make a difference. Ally was instrumental in getting legislation passed in the USA regarding access to toilets in stores for those who have IBD. Our own Nicole has been fighting to persuade the powers that be in NZ that it is logical and essential that we do the same. Ally’s trip was funded by CCNZ with the help of generous sponsors and arranged by our wonderful colleague and diplomat for IBD, Dr Richard Stein.

Their talks were applauded by a large audience of 400 gastroenterologists, surgeons and nurses. Ally and Nicole gave us all tremendous insight into some of the challenges faced in every day life by our IBD patients. They are very brave and resilient people. The NZSG was honoured to play a part in their presentations and is committed to improving the lives of the over 20,000 people in New Zealand with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. 

Dr. Arnold is the current president of the NZSG and a CCNZ Board Trustee. He also volunteers as a camp doctor at Camp Purple Live.