03 Oct #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!
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.