My Ostomy is Based on My Life. Not the Other Way Around - Uncover Ostomy
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My Ostomy is Based on My Life. Not the Other Way Around

Recently, I have been questioned as to why I blog about the things I blog about on my… blog.

Why do I blog about sorority things on Uncover Ostomy and not about ostomy things? Why wasn’t this stuff on a separate personal page? I thought that this deserved an answer

When I first conceptualized this campaign back in grade 12, before IDEAS and before it was called “Uncover Ostomy,” I had created it in order to spread awareness ABOUT ostomies. It was to teach those who had never heard of them what they were, and how they helped save lives. It was aimed at the general public- the audience that had never heard of what an ostomy was.

One of two images used in the original campaign

The main message of the campaign was to teach those who were unaware, however I didn’t ignore the underlying message that having an ostomy was nothing to be ashamed about. I thought that if the general public became aware of what an ostomy was, then ostomates themselves could feel free to say, “oh yeah, I have one of those!” and have their peers know and understand that having an ostomy did not change who they were or what they could accomplish.

The second image used in the original campaign

This is exactly what the Uncover Ostomy website was intended to do- show ostomies in a positive and normal light. The blog on Uncover Ostomy was put there so that I could talk about being a university student, being involved in clubs, and hanging out with my friends. My normal  life. The blog was actually not even something I had thought of in my original campaign plan. John, from IDEAS, came up with himself and thought it would be what would sell ostomies the best. It was not intended for me to discuss my life based around my ostomy, but to discuss my ostomy based around my life. It was meant to show that I could do anything and more that I wanted and having this thing on my stomach would never hold me back. That is what the blog was created for, and what I am still using it for today.

When Uncover Ostomy was created, John and I had sat down and discussed the nature of this campaign. IDEAS wanted to help me send the same message I had created in grade 12 in anyway they could, and they were. Through our discussion, however, John noted that because we were leaning towards social network sites as a major advertising medium, allowing for open discussion, we really couldn’t control what the campaign would evolve into. And we haven’t controlled it at all.

The Facebook page, which provides discussion for Uncover Ostomy, has evolved, on its own, into something else. It has become a support group, a place for ostomates to discuss issues, ask questions, and find others to talk to about the ostomy.

What I have realized is that now most of the action happens on Facebook. It happens within the wall posts and comments on the page and simply uses my blog as a discussion springboard. The Facebook page has essentially taken over as the message spreading medium. It promotes Uncover Ostomy more as a support group than an awareness campaign which it was originally created to do. I never imagined this as an outcome, but I am overwhelmed with joy to see that it is.

I am now aware of the fact the messaging of this campaign seems to be getting skewed. While both messages are amazing and great, I just wanted to take this time to make sure everyone was aware of where the campaign started, where it has been going, and what the intentions are.

The Facebook page is now not only a medium for advertising the campaign but is also a support group for the online ostomy community, and the website and blog is the medium to promote ostomies in a positive and normal light.

I hope this clears everything up :]

Jessica Grossman
info@uncoverostomy.org
2 Comments
  • Dave Rudzin
    Posted at 12:50h, 13 August

    Jessica, I could not agree with you more. As I always say, my ostomy is NOT who I am, it is what I have

  • Bob P
    Posted at 22:36h, 14 August

    Agreed 100%. Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts and thoughts about life.