The internet is a really big place, with a lot of content. There are over one billion sites on the world wide web, if you can believe that number! It has changed the way we work, the way we live and connected our lives. It's definitely made it easier to find resources for living with an ostomy, you just have to know where to find them.
These seven websites cover everything from reviews to dating to support groups, and they all deserve to be bookmarked because of one common theme - they're made just for ostomates!
1. For ostomates who enjoy triathlons & races
Ostomy United is a team of ostomates, their friends and supporters who participate in triathlons across the United States to inspire and empower those living with ostomies. Founded by Ted Vosk in 2015, their motto is “THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN'T DO!!!” Members of Ostomy United range in age from teenagers to 70+ years-old, and have participated in races ranging from beginner triathlons to the Ironman 70.3 mile race.
2. To review & rate ostomy products
Ostomy Reviewer was set up with the ostomate in mind. Blake Beckford understands the challenges of choosing the right ostomy products because of his own ileostomy surgery in 2014 due to ulcerative colitis. He created this site to allow ostomates to rate 100’s of ostomy products, see the average user rating and share your personal experiences. Each month the site features a new products or service to review and rate.
3. An app for helpful ostomy tips
Created in 2013, Ostomy Advisor is an app that provides one-on-one advice from a team of UK advisors who are ostomates, relatives of ostomates or caregivers. It is available for iPhone or Android and can also be accessed through the web. The app provides daily ostomy tips, useful videos and a travel feature to help ostomates swift passage through airport security.
4. Find local support groups across America
The United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) is a nonprofit organization that supports, empowers, and advocates for people who have ostomy or continent diversion surgery. Whether you are looking to join one of their 300+ US-based support groups, or you’re seeking answers through their online discussion boards, you’ve reached the right site for information, help and support.
5. Make friends or find relationships with ostomates
With over 14,000 members, Meet An OstoMate is an active online community where ostomates can make friends or literally “meet an ostomate” for a date. As one member says, "This forum is extremely valuable. I had my first date with a gal with an ostomy this past week..." What’s unique is that you can search for other members by location, gender, age, interests, and other criteria.
6. For tips on living a vegan lifestyle with an ileostomy
Eric Polsinelli had permanent ileostomy surgery in August, 2013 due to Crohn’s disease and has been vegan for 16 years. Whether you just want a glimpse or you're ready to #GoVegan2017, VeganOstomy is a great site that brings you firsthand experience through videos, reviews and advice on Eric's personal blog. Here you'll not only learn about food choices, but vegan ostomy products too. There's a reason for everyone to try vegan this month – it's Veganuary!
7. Peer-to-peer support from an ostomate's point of view
One of the longest running websites on the internet for ostomates, OstomyLand should definitely be bookmarked. This online ostomy support community was created by colostomate Jason Dale in 1998 and has more than 5,000 users with over 99,000 posted messages on the forum. You can ask questions, share advice with others, upload photos or just hang out for a chat on their Facebook page. Their mission is to raise awareness and offer peer-to-peer support from an ostomate's point of view.
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