#MyOstomyStory - Celebrating World Ostomy Day & 6 Years of Uncover Ostomy With Big News - Uncover Ostomy
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#MyOstomyStory – Celebrating World Ostomy Day & 6 Years of Uncover Ostomy With Big News

Today is a special day for many reasons.

First of all, it is Uncover Ostomy’s 6th anniversary.

Can you believe it? We’ve been doing this for 6 years! We couldn’t have lasted this long without all of you, so thank you!

Second, it is also World Ostomy Day!

WOD is a day that occurs every 3 years on October 3rd, and is dedicated to celebrating ostomy surgery.

Third as you’ve probably already noticed, we have a fancy new website.

New designs, a new layout, some updated pages, and new pictures on the homepage. In case you haven’t had a chance to look, go see it here (then come right back!)

And that leads me to fourth reason of why today is a special day.

As you’ll notice on our new homepage, there are blocks of pictures. Yes, those blocks of picture are all of me. But they won’t be for very long.

Things are changing here at Uncover Ostomy.

What better time to announce it than on our 6th anniversary, in tandem with World Ostomy Day?

So, as you all know, Uncover Ostomy started way back, even before 2009, as a tiny hint of a concept that I created for a high school media project. Years followed and it began to seed into an tangible idea. After months of work, it blossomed into a new campaign that had never been seen before, in a time before social media ruled all and when the ostomy was a scary and secretive concept.

In the 6 years of this campaign, I’ve been trying to lead the charge of positive self-image and ostomy awareness in order to change the conversation around the surgery.

And it’s worked.

What was once a medical condition that was under wraps (literally), it has now found it’s voice online. Through this blog and others, through Facebook communities, Twitter hashtags, and Instagram selfies – the ostomy is flourishing into a movement.

It’s time we take this movement to the next level.

Uncover Ostomy is no longer an “online awareness campaign.”

Starting today, Uncover Ostomy is an online publication of unique stories that, together, will continue to spread positive awareness and change the way the world sees the ostomy.

Uncover Ostomy will not just be my story, but will be a collection of stories, journeys, obstacles, triumphs, and misadventures. It is through the collection of our stories that we will really be able to make an impact and a difference.

Yes, I will still be blogging about my life and the craziness that comes with it, but it will be part of a wider collection of stories – I can only take the message so far, alone.

How can you be a part of this collection of stories?

You can start by sharing it.

This World Ostomy Day, we at Uncover Ostomy have partnered with Coloplast  worldwide, to spread a social campaign called #MyOstomyStory. 

The purpose of the campaign is to create a collection of stories on social media so that we can collectively show what the ostomy really means.

You can participate in #MyOstomyStory by sharing a picture or video on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using that hashtag, and it will be retweeted/shared/regrammed, and also added to the collection of stories on the Coloplast site.

But we’re taking it a step further:

Starting today, we’re using #MyOstomyStory to look for our first round of contributors to the new Uncover Ostomy, throughout the month of October. The individuals we choose will have their very own photoshoot, have their pictures up on the home page, and will be one of the very first to share their unique perspective with us here.

Whether you have an ostomy, take care of someone with an ostomy, or the ostomy has simply impacted your life in any way, we want you.

We’re looking for all kinds of stories: stories from those who recently had surgery to ostomy veterans. Stories from siblings who watched their sisters or brothers grow up with an ostomy. We’re looking for those who take care of young children with ostomies and friends who recently found out that one of their besties has an ostomy. Or partners who fell in love with their significant other before or after ostomy surgery.

Ostomy or not, we want stories of how the ostomy impacted you.

I wouldn’t be doing my job well if I didn’t start this off on the right foot.

So, here is #MyOstomyStory:

 

I was diagnosed with #crohns at the age of 9, a year after I had noticed stomach pain, a lack of appetite, and weight loss. I was relatively #healthy the following 3 years, until I came down with a horrendous stomach flu that threw my #disease into a flare and sent me spiralling downward. I lost more weight, was bleeding internally, living in excruciating pain, weak, malnourished, and hanging on by a thread. Neither special #diets, #medication, nor complete bowel rest worked and I was showing no sign of improvement. #At the age of 13, after 2 years in the hospital, I had a choice: Ostomy, or death. On January 30th, 2003, I chose life. I have been in almost complete remission of my #ibd since surgery and have gotten my #BA from @westernuniversity, my #MA from @nyuniversity, established myself in the #digitalmarketing space, and am #engaged to my best friend @mattheisz. Though #myostomystory is far from over, it’s been one hell of a story thus far. Read more about #myostomystory on the blog (link in bio.) Happy #worldostomyday, everyone!

A photo posted by Jess Grossman (@jessgrossman) on

There are new things in store and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.

Happy World Ostomy Day!

The #MyOstomyStory contest is only run through Uncover Ostomy and is not affiliated with Coloplast.

Jessica Grossman
info@uncoverostomy.org
9 Comments
  • Annie
    Posted at 13:46h, 03 October Reply

    Although I commend you and what you’ve set out to accomplish… I however, feel that there are far better ways to get the message out there then posing half naked , you can still achieve the right message and still look beautiful doing so with keeping the need to pose half naked in your pictures to a minimal…
    Like you I have Crohn’s disease and an Ileostomy (21 years with crohn’s and 15 years with my ostomy) with many ups and downs as I’m sure you can relate… And I still look beautiful and confident in how I look but I keep my top on… I understand it’s “Art/Confidence” you’re a model etc… and that’s great but what about getting the message out there by showing and doing fashion updates on how hard it is to find the right wear for Ostomies especially the younger generations seeing as most ostomy companies gather their market research and stats from the elderly generations especially when it comes to “NEW” products and what I mean by this is… Swim wear both men and women, tight fitted clothes IE yoga pants, that sexy dress, just to name a couple of ides but touch on them more maybe have videos on how to “tuck the bag” what to do to keep water around the wafer from losing it’s stick for the times you wanna swim longer. How to stop those annoying filters from leaking or foods to stop that loud bubbly noise…these things are some ideas as to what I think you and your team need to focus on for this ostomy community, I’ve learnt many of these things all on my own, but I think you can really help people now and future ostomy patients.

    • Jessica Grossman
      Posted at 14:28h, 03 October Reply

      Hello Annie,

      If you feel there are better ways to accomplish what I have accomplished, I implore you to do it.

      I do also talk about my Crohn’s Disease, I have posted fashion blogs about how to dress with an ostomy, I have talked about bathing suits, and I do dive deep into what it means to have an ostomy.

      Before you assume that because I am able to pose/look like this that I have nothing insightful and helpful to share, maybe read my blog.

      Thanks.

  • Annie
    Posted at 14:57h, 03 October Reply

    Hi Jessica,

    I have read your blogs but I don’t find you go into useful details…. I have read the one about swim suits and the little black dress you seem to have missed my constructive criticism,the point I was trying to make is that you need to do more details for all genders male and female fashions and not making it about yourself although you give insight to what ostomies are and that’s great and what it’s like to live with one but you are a lucky Ostomate and have your bag placed much lower than most and don’t share the same amount of scaring from what they leave on the abdominal area or have multiple ostomy sites or a patient that has a feeding tube/or scar from one help with those and not just yourself because speaking from myself those would be useful tips along with sharing news about more upcoming products, or new companies that are out there not just coloplast or hollister. or how to find the right bag/fit for you…

    Cheers.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 15:23h, 03 October Reply

    Thank you Jess for showing what’s POSSIBLE with an ostomy. I personally love hearing your stories and perspective. You are an inspiration and doing great work in putting a (beautiful) face to ostomy and shattering misconceptions of what an ostomy is all about. Please keep on inspiring everyone to see that an osotomy is life-enhancing and not something to be ashamed of. To the comments above, there are plenty of other forums out there to get that kind of information too: Great Comebacks is one, or UOAA.org.
    Keep doing what you do Jess – it’s awesome!!

  • Zerlina
    Posted at 23:10h, 03 October Reply

    Hi. Great job showing your Ostomy and story. I do agree with Anne. My abdomen is a road mat. I wear a bikini cause those are my battle scars. I do not believe most ostomates look like you. Off they exist, I would love to meet them. I am awaiting surgery ……#14……because I leak all the time. I am afraid to leave the house! There are so many negative issues that go with an Ostomy. And many good. You don’t seem to have the negative ones. How about taking different ages? Different Issues with body types and blog altogether? Your story and body could make people feel even worse. I will never look like you and my confidence is in the toilet. ( lol). Please represent all Ostomates. S.

    • Jessica Grossman
      Posted at 11:30h, 04 October Reply

      Hi Zerlina,

      I am sorry that you feel that way about your body, but I will not apologize for mine. I represent who I am and my journey with my ostomy.

      There are negatives aspects to everything in life. I share them when they are appropriate.

      Thanks,

  • Zerlina
    Posted at 23:03h, 04 October Reply

    I think you are brave, Ostomy or not, you are educated , beautiful , goal oriented. You have made many people aware of Crohn’s and Ostomy’s and your journey. Congrats on your engagement!!

    Everyone’s experience is different. At 47 , I have spent more of my adult life in hospital. So many issues and problems. I am hopeful that you will take people’s stories, good and not so good, and make them winners. It gives a full spectrum of a disease that is so diverse.

    You are right…you are sharing YOUR life with an Ostomy. Thanks for the reply that made me rethink what you are trying to do.

  • Debbie
    Posted at 00:08h, 06 October Reply

    I applaud you Jessica for all your time and effort put into your site and your willingness to share “your” story while respecting others’ personal stories as well. It bothers me to read any comments insinuating shame for your beautiful pictures. You are a beautiful young woman who has every right to show how beautiful and perfect you are with OR without having an ostomy! Just as there is no shame in seeing an ostomy bag on you, there should also be no shame or criticism of you having classy, artistic photos showing your body. Clearly, you are just as beautiful inside as you are on the outside! Thank you for all you do to educate and help others just by being you!

  • Lisabeth Miller
    Posted at 20:15h, 15 September Reply

    I know I’m coming a little late to the party here Jess, but don’t ever listen to the negative comments about what or how you do you. Everyone is different when it comes to ostomies and ostomy surgery. You really can only speak to your experience, in the same way I can only speak to mine (diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at five, first ostomy in 1997, second in 2002, infections that almost killed me, bowel blockages, pancreatitis, diabetes). If you haven’t experienced something, you can’t be expected to write about it! I am very glad to see you unashamedly showing your beautiful body in a tasteful picture. I can’t do that. I’m one of those zebras who isn’t skinny from u.c. So, keep up your good work.

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