Crohn’s Survival Guide

IWK Health Centre

Dr. Tony Otley has a challenging task. As Head of the Gastroenterology & Nutrition department at the IWK Health Centre, he has to inform young people – and their families – when they are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. It’s a life changing moment. There is no cure, so it’s a condition that has to be managed on a daily basis through a combination of different treatments. You can only imagine what that conversation must be like…

Tony and his team wanted a film to raise awareness about what living with Crohn’s disease is all about, something that would help people to understand that normal life doesn’t have to stop. As one of our contributors put it “it just becomes a new normal.”

To answer the challenge, we created the “Crohn’s Survival Guide”, an engaging documentary that offers insights from our teenage characters, along with practical advice and tips. Supported by Nestle Health Science, the film is being distributed across Canada and will help IWK in its efforts to advocate on behalf of their patients.

“We recently had a 9 year old patient insert his own tube and recite, almost word for word, the instructions from the video. This is what his Mom told me:

 ‘That video is AMAZING!!   [My son] and I watched it and he now understands what it’s all about and although he’s a little nervous, he is OK with it.  The video was so informative, and I can’t thank you enough for sending it.’

 Although not surprising, it has been really incredible to see how this is helping patients and families. Thanks again for all of your fantastic work with this project.”

Jennifer Haskett – Clinical Dietitian, IWK Health Centre



  • Executive Producer: Nic Fieldsend
  • Director/Producer/shooter/editor: Jamie Tiernay
  • Location Sound: Steve Outhit
  • Post Sound: Graham Colwell
  • Production Assistant: Gesar Mukpo
  • Gold Winner at the 2013 ICE Awards -- for Online Video (Single or Campaign)

    The ICE Awards are organized by a diverse group of advertising and marketing professionals to celebrate creative advertising made in Atlantic Canada. ICE is an acronym that stands for Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise.

    "Great storytelling and truly engaging. Even though it was a very long piece of content, the jury as a whole found it incredibly refreshing. It was honest, real, and we could all see how it would be incredibly helpful to those going through it. And from a production standpoint, they handled it with a very deft touch. Instead of the usual dire seriousness so many of these have, this tonality of this piece made Crohn's seem very manageable."
    - Andrew Simon, head judge of 2013 Ice Awards