Founded by the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) in 2013, National Ostomy Awareness Day is celebrated each year in the United States. Not to be confused with World Ostomy Day which happens every three years — next one is 2021! On Saturday, October 5th, join thousands of advocates across the country in spreading awareness and bringing attention to ostomies that save millions of lives all over the world.
Here's how you can get involved:
Social media is a valuable tool to spread the good news about ostomies. By using the hashtags #MyOstomyMyLifesaver and #OstomyDay2019, your story can become a vital part of changing people’s perceptions. UOAA also has a frame for your profile picture and informative infographic to share that describes a few of the reasons why over 100,000 people have surgery every year.
On the bottom of the infographic is an incredibly important phrase that’s also the theme of this year’s Ostomy Awareness Day: Spread Ostomy Awareness: It Can Be A Life-Saver. This is a reminder that one of the greatest things ostomates can do is to serve as positive role models for those new to an ostomy and those who might need one in the future. After all, there’s no better example of the incredible benefits of ostomies than the ostomates living incredible lives because of them.
Get involved by contacting the mayor or governor of your state to request a proclamation. Simply download this document from UOAA's website which states the reasons why local government should recognize Ostomy Awareness Day. Perhaps most notably, it emphasizes why recognition is important to people with ostomies so they won’t continue to face discrimination.
The Run For Resilience Ostomy 5K is another big part of National Ostomy Awareness Day. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with others while raising awareness. Plus, what better way to show people that an ostomy doesn’t slow you down than by beating them in a 5K race? Of course, that’s not the point and whether you walk, jog, or run (or have an ostomy or not), taking part in this event is a great way to celebrate.
Ostomy 5K races are held in eight different cities across the country. Events will take place on September 28, October 5, and October 12, and the last day to register is September 30. There are also opportunities to set up teams, start fundraising drives, and order t-shirts.
If there’s not an event scheduled in your area, you can always sign up for a Virtual Ostomy 5K. Anyone participating is encouraged to post photos of themselves using the hashtags #RunForResilience or #IAmResilient. Don't forget to tag Run for Resilience on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
So, are you ready to celebrate Ostomy Awareness Day? From proclamations to hashtags to races, there is so much to do on Saturday, October 5th. If you have an ostomy or love someone who does, let’s make a real difference by putting our voices together to break stigmas and let everyone know that ostomies truly are life-savers. Get involved!