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 […]


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 […]

Yolanda’s Story

I had a fistula and had surgery to repair it. It did not close afterward, so I went for a follow-up and was told there was a growth that was keeping it from closing. I had scar tissue during my surgery, so I just assumed that was the growth. My best friend had just told […]