When she was just three years old, Dana Marshall-Bernstein, daughter of Las Vegas personal injury attorney Ed Bernstein, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the digestive system.
Crohn’s disease affects an estimated 700,000 Americans, but the causes behind the disease are still not understood.
“Crohn’s has affected my whole life – every second of every day of my life,” Dana says. “When I go to the doctor, I say, ‘This is what you do for a living, but this is what I do to live.’ It’s not something I can take a break from, like a five-minute breather, or go on vacation and say, ‘I’ll deal with this on Monday.’ It gets very tiring.”
Cari Marshall, Dana’s mother, and Ed’s struggle to find appropriate medical treatment for Dana throughout her childhood is chronicled in the Cleveland Clinic Catalyst Spring 2015 magazine.
“Cleveland Clinic is a worldwide leader in the field of inflammatory bowel disease treatment and research, and we truly believe that this research has the potential to prevent other young people from going through the struggles that Dana faces,” Ed said.
To help raise awareness of the struggles associated with Crohn’s disease, Cari and Dana have produced a documentary about Dana called Semicolon: The Adventures of Ostomy Girl. It was shot at the Cleveland Clinic and debuted in Las Vegas on March 15th.
In addition, Cari and Ed have launched a family foundation to raise money for Crohn’s research.
The foundation put on an event in Las Vegas with the goal of garnering support for the creation of a national Center for Excellence in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
If you’d like to provide support for Crohn’s research, visit Dana’s personal fundraising page on the Cleveland Clinic’s website at giving.ccf.org/goto/dana.