Welcome to the New Companion!

By: Brooke Bogdan
Companion Magazine Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Instagram: @brklynbouncer
Twitter: @brklynbouncer
www.brookebogdan.com

My father told me the other day while giving me a little business advice, that "Companion Magazine has now evolved, and I need to evolve with it." 

Before my eyes, Companion Magazine has become a community - something that is outside the barriers of physical pages. We are a group of people who are positive, who are looking to support those who are too sick to support themselves, advocate, and inform. Because of this outlet, I have found a healthy way to heal my own battle with ulcerative colitis and hopefully helped heal many others. 

When I first envisioned what I thought I wanted Companion Magazine to look like, I wasn't as educated as I am right now about web development and design, but I knew enough about it to be dangerous. I stayed up late nights building the first Companion Magazine site on WordPress so that I could share with the world what I thought was lacking in the IBD community - positive support and real stories from patients who are unafraid and determined to live their best lives despite their diagnosis. I've also learned more about PR and what it takes to build a brand. Companion is more than just a community - it has evolved into a brand. A brand that I couldn't be more proud of. And it's because of everyone who is so brave and willing to share their stories with me and the world. Thank you to our contributors! 

This is the beginning of something amazing. We will be accepting contributions constantly, updating our site weekly with fresh stories about UC, Crohn's, medications, rare GI conditions, fitness, nutrition, fashion, and lifestyle. We will have videos, pictures, art, design and the capability to accept donations on behalf of our contributors and editors favorite charities.

I'm excited to announce a new branch of Companion - Companion Fitness. Personally, I have learned that maintaining a fitness regimen is crucial to living my best life with IBD. I know many others who feel and practice the same. Even if you are laying in a hospital, you are probably thinking - wishing you could be out running free with the rest of us. One day - you will be. Until then, Companion Fitness is for you. It's also for those of us who are trying to get back in the fitness game, or who are fitness pros at this point. If you have used fitness to inspire yourself and others despite your chronic illness, we want to share your story. 

This year has been a really tough one for me. I've been through quite a bit with my health - along with breakups, job changes, loss of friends that I thought were family, and starting my own business. What has remained constant, and what will always remain constant, is my desire to help those who feel scared, alone, unsure, intimidated, or hopeless when it comes to suffering from a chronic illness. I will continue to advocate, argue, and write for us. I will never let my fire be put out by stigmas or ignorance.

When I was told I had to have surgery and wear an ileostomy, I thought, "I NEVER want anyone to ever feel alone or scared like I feel right now. There has to be a way to fix this and bring our community of people together." 

From there, Companion Magazine was born. 

Hang with us while we go through - evolve through - this transition. There is so much more to come from Companion. If you are a survivor, and you have a positive outlook on life, you are welcome to contribute to our community. 

Thank you to Kristin, Gaylyn, Rasheed, and Emma for your endless support and input on our baby - Companion. Without you guys, I don't know where I'd be. 

Brooke Bogdan