Idol star caps Janssen's UGC IBD awareness contest
Season 10 Idol finalist Casey Abrams recognized the two winners—Crohn's sufferer Doug Yakich of Glendale, California and Kansas City, Missouri's Katie Jeter-Boldt, who, like Abrams, has ulcerative colitis—at a concert kicking off the Zappos.com Rock n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon and ½ Marathon, proceeds of which went to benefit IBD Icons partner CCFA. The finalists were selected by Abrams and a panel of CCFA judges, while the winners were chosen by an online poll that drew nearly 150,000 votes.
Janssen markets Remicade, which is indicated to treat a number of autoimmune diseases—including Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, both of which are included in IBD, along with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and plaque psoriasis—though the campaign was unbranded.
Abrams, who was paid for his participation in the campaign, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis two years ago and suffered a flare-up while competing on American Idol, managing to finish sixth despite the disease.
“At the time, having a UC flare-up in the middle of the competition seemed like an obstacle, this wall I had to climb over,” said Abrams in a statement, “but with IBD Icons, I feel that we, everyone who entered and the fans who voted, are making a real difference in the way people see this disease.”