Everyone knows Calgarians love to have fun on a big night out, eat tons of delectable charcuterie boards (I totally heart Alberta beef), and get a little feisty with a few Canadian Club drinks. But for 250,000 Canadians, C&C takes on a whole other meaning. I'm talking about Crohn's and colitis.
And for after work drinks at the beer hall on Stephen's Ave, (or wait, are we meeting at the National on 8th, 10th or the one on 17th??), or even heading for brunch with your bae in Inglewood, you can now calmly excuse yourself from your crew and discreetly slip off into the washroom to do your thing.
Going for a jog around Eau Claire and need to take a pause? No sweat, the app knows your location and can direct you north to Kensington or south to Eau Claire plaza for the nearest rest stop.
For many, flare-ups can be triggered by diet. And sometimes you might miss the chance to quiz the wait staff about just what exactly is in that delish-looking hors d'oeuvre. This is when the app becomes a total lifesaver.
According to Jennifer, an Event Planner from Calgary, who was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at 21during her second last year of university, living with Crohn's means she was in and out of doctor appointments and even underwent surgery, having to take a semester off and defer her last year of university to recover. "It impacted my life quite a bit - I wasn't able to graduate with all my friends".
So much attention is given to conditions that affect our diets, "which is awesome, but unfortunately, there is not a whole lot people with Crohn's or colitis can eliminate," says Jennifer.
"The diseases have many more complications. For example, it can impact your eyesight. I mean, who would have thought?"
What impacts Jennifer the most, however, are flare-ups and the intense amount of pain. "It can make the difference between whether or not I choose to go out and do social activities. I try not to let the disease control my life. But sometimes you just have to stay home ... flare-ups definitely impact my life because knowing where the washroom is, is a huge thing for me. If I'm not sure where one is, I'm going to second guess whether or not I should go out."
So what about the other dreaded scenario that every Canadian has experienced: desperate to find a washroom, you rush into a shop only to have the store manager tell you, "the washroom is for paying customers only".
Using a washroom is a basic human necessity. So why is it not treated as such?
Restauranteurs and local businesses can do their part too by registering their business as a spot with a public restroom by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It's a huge comfort knowing that some businesses would have the GoHere sticker on their window just to let you know that you could go in," says Jennifer.
So for all those restaurants with squeaky clean bathrooms, please register and maybe your business will become a preferred meeting place for local students and YPs to hang out in for long study sessions. Not a bad way to increase your millennial fan base.
GoHere also gives people living with Crohn's or colitis peace of mind. As Matthew Sebastiani, Vice President of the Crohn's and Colitis Canada Chapter in Vancouver puts it, "a lot of people [with Crohn's or colitis] are scared to leave their home" - and any app that helps with that is a HUGE win.