Jearlean’s Story

I was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare cancer, at 3 years old. From ages 3 to 11, a Manhattan cancer center was my home away from home. I wound up getting 2 ostomies—colostomy and urostomy—for a better quality of life. Can you imagine, at age 3, doctors not thinking you’re going to live? After […]

Kimberly’s Story

I found out I had cancer without my doctor saying the word “cancer.” I was constipated and constantly bloated. My bowel movements weren’t voiding completely, and blood was in my stool. In March 2015, I was still feeling off, so I scheduled an OBGYN appointment. I was told it was probably hemorrhoids and sent home […]

Meghan’s Story

I couldn’t ride in a car for fear of having an accident. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 13. I went into remission a year later, met my husband, and we married in December 2015. I went in for my routine colonoscopy in July 2016, and the doctor said he found precancerous cells in […]

Mikey’s Story

Imagine not being able to go to the bathroom—and you don’t have a colon. For 14 years, I had digestive issues, and it was hard to go to the bathroom. My colonoscopy said there was a small line of tear in my stomach, but doctors said it was nothing to worry about. In 2017, I […]

Nicky’s Story

I was always the youngest person in the doctor’s office. Back then, younger people didn’t used to get Crohn’s, but I was one of them who did. I felt like I was the only person walking around with it, and I never felt like I belonged. I was diagnosed at 16 and began taking steroids […]

Clare’s Story

I was 18 when I started feeling unwell. For years, I was in and out of the hospital. At first, the doctors thought it was appendicitis, but they settled on ulcerative colitis, which put me on a heavy-duty drug (Azathioprine) for 12 years. It kept me quite well, but my gastrologist took me off it […]

TIONNA’S STORY

My ostomy was my Christmas miracle. I was in the hospital for 3 months because of a bad Crohn’s flare. On Christmas Eve of 2007, I was finally allowed to go home. As I was signing discharge papers, I started having sharp pains in my stomach. I knew something was wrong. After that, everything was […]

Carol’s Story

Not a lot of people talk about cervical cancer or having ostomies. I was diagnosed in 2011, and it reoccurred 10 months later. I was faced with total pelvic exenteration (TPE) surgery. I was told I had to get important organs taken out, which was a bit of a shock—my new “normal” being diagnosed with […]

Keyla’s Story

I’ve always had really bad stomach aches since I was little. 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). I didn’t know what this was; I thought it was like the flu and that it was normal. I didn’t realize this condition was going to be my life-long friend.

Alexis’ Story

Since I was a young adult, I’ve always been religious. At age 21, I was in a domestically violent marriage with two kids. For six years, I felt stuck. I suffered a concussion, got kicked out of the house, ran to my family, and lost custody of my kids. He spread rumors about me and […]