Ostomy Ambassador: Alison - Uncover Ostomy
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Ostomy Ambassador: Alison

There are a few tweaks still to go on the website, but as of a few days ago, I’ve officially updated the blog tags. This makes it easier to search through my old posts! Just scroll down and you can see the search bar on the right.

After going through all of my old blog posts from the beginning of this campaign,  I came across the Ostomy Ambassador posts I used to write.  For those of you who don’t remember, here’s a recap of what it means.  After I had named a few ambassadors, I eventually stopped because I was unable to keep track of who I had written about.  With the updated tags, however, I can get back to it!

To revive my Ostomy Ambassador title, I bring you a very deserving young lady.

This young lady came into my life a number of years ago while she was battling IBD. I had actually met her father first, before I had met her, at an event for Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada. He came up to me at this event and explained his daughter’s ordeal. Both him and his wife were unsure of what to do for their daughter and had decided that the ostomy was not an option. It did not take more than a simple conversation for the father to see that, at least for me, the ostomy had saved my life.

A little while later, their daughter had ostomy surgery.

A little while after that, I ended up meeting this special girl.

This girl had the cutest smile, the brightest eyes, and she seemed unbelievably starstuck to meet me-it was adorable. She was happy to have had surgery and was hopeful for a healthier future.

For this girl, the ostomy was as easy for her as it is to work in a new pair of shoes; They need to be worked in, but she knew how to strut in them nonetheless.

Boy, did she know how to strut.

Wanting to make her own ostomy impact, this young lady took her own Uncover Ostomy pictures:

Sharing her ostomy with everyone she knew was nothing for her. A girl, definitely, after my own heart.

She not only posted these pictures on the UO Facebook page, but she posted them on her own profile. She made sure everyone she knew, knew that she was part of the bag club. All her family members, all her friends, all her acquaintances- everyone.

She was me.

Unfortunately, this lovely young lady continued to struggle with her health and was eventually offered ostomy reversal surgery. She had the surgery, but her health still struggled.

I always joked with her that she was no longer part of the bag club, but she always replied saying she wished she had it back.

A few days ago, she went back into surgery for another procedure; another surgery on a long list of many. Unfortunately, for this brave young lady, the disease has become much more of a struggle than it ever had been for many of us. Definitely more difficult than it had been for me. As I’ve been updated by her family, she is doing well, post-op.

Of course she is. She’s a fighter.

She is also an amazing example of what an ostomy ambassador should be.

Alison, you are not only a huge inspiration to me, but a huge inspiration to the entire world. This is why I am giving you the title of Ostomy Ambassador.

You deserve it.

I would also like to extend my title to her family; her father Gary, her mother Lyn, and her sister Jaclyn.

Though they may not have ostomies themselves, they too spread ostomy awareness. They use their social media networks to promote Uncover Ostomy, they spread awareness to those who are unaware, and they provide support to other families with children in the same situation.

Alison and her family are very special people in my life whom I remain in touch with. Though it’s been tough since I’ve lived outside of Toronto for many years now, we always manage to meet up. Whether it’s at ostomy camp two summers ago when I volunteered and Alison was a camper, or like in Las Vegas last October when our families happened to be there at the same time, or even when Alison and her father took me out for dinner last winter while I was still in my undergrad. Alison and her family even attended my fathers funeral those many years ago. These people have become great friends to both my mother and I, and we are so lucky to have them.

Jessica Grossman
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