Getting scared for fun, eating tons of candy, decorating pumpkins with ostomy bags... what's not to love about Halloween? People can get really creative with costumes, and you can multiply that by 100 when it comes to ostomates.
Some believe 13 is an unlucky number, not us. We were lucky to connect with these awesome ostomates who aren’t scared to show off.
1. Amy Votta-Fierro
Amy had colostomy surgery in April 2014 due to rectal cancer. She lives in Santa Cruz, California and works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker by day and a fitness instructor by night. Connect with Amy on Instagram.
2. Krystal Miller
Krystal had ileostomy surgery in April 2006 due to Crohn's disease. She's an entrepreneur, married to Shannon, and the mother of two living in Perth, Australia. Connect with Krystal at Bag Lady Mama.
3. Keagan Lynggard
Keagan had ileostomy surgery in March 2005 because of Crohn’s disease. She is an ostomy advocate and public speaker.
4. Suzanne Mullins Doré
Suzanne had colostomy surgery in 2011 because of bowel cancer. She is a wife and mother of two, living in the United Kingdom. Connect with Suzanne at Gladrags & Bags.
5. Danielle McCormack
Danielle had permanent ileostomy surgery in June 2016 due to imperforate anus. She is a writer and patient advocate living in the United Kingdom.
6. Caroline Bramwell
Caroline had ileostomy surgery in March 2009 from ulcerative colitis. She is a mother of two living in the United Kingdom, inventor of Gutsy Bars, and an athlete training for Ironman. Connect with Caroline at Iron Ostomy.
7. Stephanie Crane
Stephanie had ileostomy surgery in March 2010 because of Crohn’s disease. She is a 4th-grade teacher and dance instructor in Orlando, Florida. Connect with Stephanie on Instagram.
8. Tina Aswani Omprakash
Tina has had over 20 surgeries in the past seven years due to Crohn’s disease, and in 2011 her ileostomy was made permanent. Connect with Tina on Instagram.
9. Brenda Elsagher
Brenda Elsagher is a national keynote speaker, author, and comedian in Minnesota. Diagnosed with colorectal cancer at age 39, Brenda’s mission is to educate people on the importance of colorectal screening.
10. Gaylyn Henderson
Gaylyn had a temporary ileostomy in 2008 which was made permanent in 2011 due to Crohn’s disease. She is a patient advocate in Atlanta, Georgia and the founder of Gutless and Glamorous.
11. Ellen Speicher
Ellen had a partial colectomy in June 2015 and total colectomy with ileostomy in May 2016 from Crohn’s disease. She is a teacher in Columbus, Ohio and holds a Masters Degree in Education from The Ohio State University. Connect with Ellen on Instagram.
12. Jessica Mijnssen
Jessica had permanent ileostomy surgery in March 2016 because of Crohn's disease. She is 34-years-old, married and lives in Zürich, Switzerland. Connect with Jessica on Instagram.
13. Leah Sannar
Leah was diagnosed with Stage III Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2007 and had permanent ileostomy in 2008 due to Crohn's disease. Home and family is what she loves to write about most on her blog, Life, Lemons and Lemonade.
FUN FACT: This time of year brings with it a harvest of candy corn, those sugary tricolored treats of yellow, orange and white. The Goelitz Confectionary Company in Cincinnati began making the candy kernels in 1898 and called it “chicken feed.” It was such a best-seller that it kept the company going through two world wars and the Great Depression.
We can’t wait to see the creative costumes that ostomates will come up with next year! And for those of you who are superstitious, here’s #14… our token male. :)
14. Collin Jarvis
Collin had ileostomy surgery in March 2014 due to ulcerative colitis. He is a Track & Field athlete in Berkley, California and the Vice President of Marketing & Operations at Stealth Belt.