The Crohn’s Disease Warrior Patrol (the "CDWP"), a non-profit, 501 (c ) 3 tax-exempt Charitable Foundation, is sponsoring a NEW award called the “IBD Hero’s Award” to celebrate, promote and acknowledge POSITIVE STORIES of people with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) overcoming tremendous adversity to move forward with life and accomplish the extraordinary. Besides Global promotion in both Social Media and Traditional Media Outlets, the Award’s Winner will receive a Prize uniquely valuable to them based on their inspiring IBD story.

For this inaugural IBD Hero Award Winner Andrew Berlack, we sought assistance from the National Hockey League (NHL) in devising the perfect Prize because Andrew used the “physicality” of playing competitive ice hockey to learn how to co-exist with his Ostomy made necessary by his prolonged bout with Severe Crohn’s Disease. Andrew’s story is especially inspiring, and thus earned him the IBD Hero’s Award, because he used both the lessons he learned, and confidence he gained, from the physicality of playing ice hockey to eventually resume a career as a Law Enforcement Officer. Andrew was told that would never be possible with an Ostomy but he experienced it otherwise!

Since Andrew is a huge fan of both the NHL and his hometown Minnesota Wild, the folks at the NHL were kind enough to donate an official Minnesota Wild NHL Hockey Jersey autographed by Andrew’s favorite player, Ryan Suter, along with an official NHL hockey puck autographed by members of the Minnesota Wild.

The CDWP anticipates handing out these IBD Hero’s Awards a few times each year to acknowledge, and to help provide inspiration for, the MANY people who battle everyday with Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, Ulcerative Colitis and other IBDs. For more information on the CDWP, please visit our website at

Michael A. Weiss
Executive Director

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