Getting Involved with Ostomy Canada Society
Even with the absolute best possible support system, there are times in your life when it isn’t enough and what you really need is a group of people who have actually been there or understand what you are going through from experience. Being a military child, and now a military spouse, a support network of people who understand is hard to find within your community as you are constantly being moved around. It is for that reason that I am more than thankful to have found a community who have helped guide me through some of the toughest times of my life.
When I was just 17 years old I was diagnosed with chrohn’s/colitis. Despite the research we did and the medications I tried, the disease had come to take over my body and I was faced with the quick decision of having to remove my colon, and needing an ileostomy. It was a decision that I knew would change my life for the better. I was extremely fortunate to have someone from the Fredericton Ostomy chapter visit me in the hospital to explain how life with an ostomy has impacted her and how it has made her quality of life that much better. Shortly after my surgery – this same young lady approached me and asked if I would be interested in attending an Ostomy Youth Camp in Alberta. A camp I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend if it were not for the association or my place of employment at the time. The Ostomy Youth camp is an experience I cherish that still benefits me and comes up in conversation 9 years later. It was an experience that taught me that having an Ostomy does not define who I am today. Being given the opportunity to attend such an amazing camp gave me the chance to grow into a better person and advocate for those living with ostomies as well. It gave me the opportunity to meet many life-long friends who understand just what you are going through, and friends whom you can always count on when you just need a little advice or help to get through tough spots. Over the past 9 years, I have learned that 1 week at camp where you share a commonality can create a lifetime of friendships.