Now THAT'S How You Finish Your Undergrad - Uncover Ostomy
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Now THAT’S How You Finish Your Undergrad

Tomorrow is my last day of my undergraduate classes at the University of Western Ontario.

I will no longer be sitting in lecture halls learning about communication theory

I will no longer be munching away on my favourite Buffalo Chicken wraps from the on campus restaurant

And I will no longer have the chance to help out in the on campus newspaper.

Well, that is until after tomorrow’s issue.

Over the past few years, I have appeared randomly in the Western Gazette, the only daily newspaper for a Canadian university campus. I’ve modeled for special issues, been interviewed for sorority and charity things, and I’ve even had one of my tweets quoted.  I’ve pretty much been in the Gazette at least once a year, every year in my four years at UWO.

Never did I think I’d be in it like this

This past summer, I was emailed by reporter Arden Zwelling who asked to interview me for a little story about Uncover Ostomy. I replied with enthusiasm saying that as soon as the school year began, we could meet up and get it going. Unfortunately, as the year went on, the time to meet up with him started to disappear. He was busy with more important and current stories about London and UWO such as the debated teacher’s strike, the snow day, and the intense student government election. All this pushed my story behind.  I didn’t mind, it was news. I was just lucky to have been asked!

So I sat for months and months and waited my turn…

And then I forgot.

Last week, I was cleaning out old emails on my blackberry and came across the email from Arden from the summer. It was then that I figured, “hey, I have a week left at UWO, I might as well give him a little shout and see what he’s up to.” So I did.

To my luck, he was willing and ready to interview me for the article had promised. We met up, had a long 40 minute interview session, and said our goodbyes. I was thrilled to have any media exposure for UO and couldn’t wait to read the article.

Little did I know the article he had promised was going to turn into a front spread and 3 page story.

Thanks to him, Uncover Ostomy now has the most media exposure it has ever had. The three page spread not only shares my story, but shares the term ostomy with those who have never heard of it before; all 30,000 people on Western’s campus.

To top the whole thing off, this issue is the last issue of the year, meaning it will remain on newsstands all over campus for the entire exam period- a month!

Though I am extremely sad to be leaving my friends, my classes, my favourites foods, and my UWO community, as least I’m leaving with a bang.

Jessica Grossman
  • Anonymous
    Posted at 02:59h, 07 April

    I read your article in the Gazette today, and let me just say – wow. I was really moved by your story, your close relationship with your dad (may he rest in peace), and all that you've accomplished thus far. I decided to come check out this website and your blog to pass on what an awesome role model I think you are. You are obviously very passionate about your cause and I can only imagine the positive impact it's having on others. I'm graduating this year as well, so as one soon-to-be UWO grad to another, I wish you all the best in the future! Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • Tim
    Posted at 03:23h, 07 April


    Thats all I have to say.

    You are living the dream. Making the disease work for you instead of being a slave to it. I graduated from Saint Louis University (SLU) last may and have been struggling immensely. The stress of finding a job, maintaing insurance, and pretty much becoming an adult is a lot for a young person with Crohn's to deal with. Keep on chuggin' along.

    You and your site are a true inspiration to me.

  • Ariana
    Posted at 18:28h, 07 April

    Hi Jessica,

    I really wish I had known about your presence at UWO before the end of your final year! I'm in third year and I have ulcerative colitis. I've been incredibly sick since my last year of high school (though I was diagnosed when I was 16) and I'm finally having surgery next month. I'll be getting a j-pouch in two steps, so I'll have a temporary ostomy for two months or so, but you have no idea how wonderful and reassuring it is to see someone who is so beautiful and clearheaded and motivated …with an ostomy. I am really scared of the surgery but excited about having my life back. Thank you for you story. It means so much to me and, I'm sure, the hundreds of other people who have ostomies as well.

  • Russell
    Posted at 18:38h, 07 April

    Great story. You should get permissions for republication. Not only in Phoenix but other places too. You are inspiring and and the first time I saw your original photo I was convinced that my pouch didn't change who I was physically or sexually. I'm 5 months post proctocolectomy and ileo and on chemo for rectal cancer, but I don't shy away from telling anyone. Keep it up and look out New York.

  • sherry
    Posted at 03:19h, 12 April

    I'm the mother of a little girl with UC who may face surgery in the near future. I cry every time I read your blog and I can't begin to thank you for what you have done for me and for the type of image you offer to her. You are a very brave young woman and you have helped more people than I think you can imagine. Your mother must be so proud of you! NYC is one of the greatest places on earth and I'm sure you will continue to grow and challenge yourself there and that this is just the beginning of what we have seen from you. Congrats and thank you.
    Sherry, mommy to Stella