SNEHA DAVE India & USA, 19

Project: The Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network (CCYAN)
Basic human needs: Education, Health

When she was only 6 years-old, Sneha was diagnosed with a severe form of Ulcerative Colitis. She faced major surgeries and isolation in the battle against her illness. After one of her only allies and best friend Cory passed away from Crohn’s Disease and Osteosarcoma, Sneha created The Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network (CCYAN). CCYAN is a nonprofit organization that supports young adults around the world who feel alone in their struggle with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. CCYAN connects youth and acts as a resource for families, friends, healthcare professionals, advocacy organizations and pharmaceutical companies to learn about the teen perspective of living with a chronic condition. Their newsletter, The Crohn’s and Colitis Teen Times, provides information and encouragement for young adults facing chronic illness. Sneha also developed the Health Advocacy Summit, a free, daylong leadership and advocacy event that brings together students with chronic conditions. After a successful pilot in October 2017, the Summit will expand into more states. CCYAN has already directly impacted approximately 12,500 people, and their impact will increase when applications for their fellowship program launch in the near future. Selected fellows from around the world dealing with chronic illness will receive a stipend, CCYAN’s platform to create content and spread awareness, and leadership training from famous figures living with chronic illness. Beyond her organization, Sneha serves on the Pfizer Advisory Board , representing the young patient population and traveling around the United States as a Pfizer patient ambassador.