Ben is being honored with the Community Impact Leader Award this year at the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's 55th Annual Gala.
Benjamin Goldenberg has been a sincere and ardent supporter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation from early in his personal journey with Crohn’s Disease. Diagnosed in 2014, his initial experiences with the disease were marked by a constant and evolving battle between understanding and managing his symptoms and triggers––struggling to find the right doctor and medical regimen––while also attending to the daily stresses and demands of his early professional career and adult personal life; all things that he believes are common experiences of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis patients.
What Ben found in the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation was a group of likeminded individuals who support each other through shared experiences and a common mission. They share a sense of purpose and determination to find a cure for these insidious diseases, to deliver resources to those who need it, and to raise awareness for conditions that patients at times struggle to voice.
Ben’s involvement began with the Greater New York (GNY) Chapter’s Young Professionals Group, through which he raised funds annually for its comedy night. In 2018, he chaired the fundraiser event and proudly renamed it Sh!ts and Giggles. He also participated in a half marathon with Team Challenge, and succeeded in being one of the top fundraisers nationally.
As Ben’s experience with the organization deepened, he has become an emerging leader within the GNY Chapter, serving on both the Volunteer and Engagement Committee and the Gala Committee.
While Ben will attest there have been multiple frustrations and struggles throughout his diagnosis––among them adverse reactions to medication, insurance approval woes, and an emergency surgery in 2018––he is grateful for the chance to consider his disease more “in remission” than not. He understands this is not the case for everyone, but hopes for it.
“One of the most salient experiences with my Crohn’s journey was in 2018, when I chaired our comedy event. I vividly remember speaking to the crowd and feeling overwhelmed looking out at other members of the Young Professionals Committee who fought far more severe symptoms and circumstances than I had––yet, they showed up with whatever energy they had to find a cure for these diseases. I recall feeling fortunate to have my own disease under control. Three days later, I was in the hospital having an emergency surgery for a complication emerging from a manifestation of the disease. The abrupt series of events served as a personal epiphany—these diseases are so volatile that your health can radically change almost instantaneously. I think that experience instilled an even greater sense of urgency that we need to find a cure for Crohn’s and colitis.”
Proudly hailing from Philadelphia (although, after 10 years – officially a New Yorker), Ben graduated from Duke University, cum laude, with dual degrees in Classical Languages and Economics. He is a Director in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group of Rothschild & Co, the global investment bank.