B'Dereh, good to hear from you too.
The auto-immunity issue is more complex, and if bone marrow is ruled out, so is blood donation.
I don't think this is true. Here's what the Red Cross says about
chronic illnesses: "Most chronic illnesses are acceptable as long as you feel well, the condition is under control, and you meet all other eligibility requirements."
You can donate if you've had cancer, as long as it's not a blood cancer. There's nothing on the site about
auto immune diseases, and it's quite detailed regarding diabetes, asthma, malaria, HIV, etc.
I suspect with the bone marrow, the issue might not be catching Crohn's, but just not having a good enough immune system to donate..... although mine was good enough to keep me alive....
And yes, many ways to give back besides bodily fluids