It's important to step outside our comfort zone once in a while to experience something new and see what we can do.

Born and raised in Virginia, Emily Bane is a 25-year-old ‘ostomy mommy’ determined to raise awareness about ostomy surgery and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. But one of her main jobs is being a good role model for her son. Emily says, "Thinking positively about myself and overcoming my fears is extremely important when it comes to raising my child while living with a chronic illness."

In 2012, Emily was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and prescribed several medications for two straight years, but her body didn't respond and the illness persisted. In 2014 Emily gave birth to a healthy baby boy, but there were complications during pregnancy which caused her colon to perforate. She gave birth by C-section and then immediately went into another surgery to repair her intestines.

The symptoms of Crohn's continued for Emily over the next several years with no improvement on Entyvio treatments. She suffered from fatigue, abdominal pain, lost 30 pounds, and then had a seizure that sent her to the hospital in critical condition. On December 30, 2016 she underwent emergency colostomy surgery to save her life. 

It’s been a difficult few years for Emily having three more surgeries in 2017, but her willpower has been an inspiration to her children, friends and family. Despite everything she's been through, finding gratitude through the ups and downs remains constant in her life. She shared this message on Instagram: “I love my body more now than I ever did before my colostomy surgery.” 

Last month Emily teamed up with photographer Justin Nichols for a family photoshoot and decided to step out of her comfort zone by showing her ostomy pouch. She wanted these pictures to represent a new beginning and help raise awareness about the surgery that saved her life. We're proud to have another role model and advocate in the ostomy community... you're in good company! 

“I stepped out of my comfort zone and was glad I did. Having a colostomy means a new life for me. I deserve to be healthy and feel good!” – Emily Bane

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