When patients are diagnosed with Crohn’s, Colitis or many cancers, they are often offered two options: ostomy or death. Shockingly, many patients choose the latter simply because of the stigma around ostomies – that they are ‘gross’ and that you will never be able to lead a ‘normal’ life with one. These misconceptions are simply due to lack of education and minimal mainstream exposure. Now, a Canadian woman is changing all of that.
Jess Grossman, founder of the online awareness campaign Uncover Ostomy, is using her personal experiences, writing, and modeling to change the way people think about the ostomy. One story and post at a time, Jess is shifting Canadians’ perceptions of ostomies, from being a life-ending external bag that collects waste to a life-saving accessory that allows patients a second chance at a beautiful life.
You can see some amazing examples from the community, and around the world, here:
Madii Harris, Susan (son Noah) Sweeney, Logan Taylor, Brandon Wilch, Hilary Howard, John Gray, Melissa Zapinski, Bianca Siedlaczek, Emily Karr, Cynde Patrick, Roel Killaars, Megan Baker… and so many more!
Jess’ latest Uncover Ostomy campaign, #MyOstomyStory, encourages ostomates (those with ostomies) and their friends and families around the world to share their stories on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The Facebook page, which has more than 7,500 fans, has reached more than 75,000 people in more than 140 countries during the month of October alone, with hundreds of stories of triumph, hardship, and confidence shared.
Jessica can share more details of an ostomate’s struggle and how her experiences have led her to a place of saving lives. Please reach out if you would like to book an interview.
firstname.lastname@example.org or through the contact form.
In case you were curious – An ostomy is a surgically created opening form an internal organ (stoma) to an external point on the body, usually the abdomen, for the removal of bodily waste. Bodily waste passes through the stoma into a special bag on the outside of the body that the wearer empties on a regular basis. Ostomies are used in the treatment of diseases of the intestines and/or bladder and are most commonly used to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohns/Colitis as well as certain cancers. The ostomy can be a temporary or permanent procedure depending on a number of factors including type of condition and the person’s needs. (http://uncoverostomy.org/about)