Uncover Ostomy is an online awareness campaign working to break the stigma surrounding ostomy surgery. Their goal is to change the way the world views ostomies through conversation, social sharing, and community by spreading positive awareness and encouraging body positivity for those living with an ostomy. Jessica's message is clear. If she can show confidence (and sexiness) despite her ostomy by sharing thought-provoking images to spark conversation, then perhaps being an ostomate really isn’t such a stigma.
The campaign was launched on World Ostomy Day in October 2009 by spokesperson and founder, Jessica Grossman, who had ileostomy surgery at age 13 because of Crohn's disease. Since having the surgery, it's been her goal to tell everyone what an ostomy is. While in high school, she put together a media project to create awareness of ostomies which earned her a college scholarship.
"I thought that if the general public became aware of what an ostomy was, then ostomates themselves could feel free to say, ‘oh yeah, I have one of those!’ and have their peers know and understand that having an ostomy did not change who they were or what they could accomplish." – Jessica Grossman
Jessica writes on the UO blog to show others that living with an ostomy doesn’t hold her back. You can help change negative perceptions surrounding ostomy surgery by sharing posts such as, "13 years later, I am here. Alive. Healthy. And celebrating what my brother has accurately titled my “Bag-Mitzvah.”
Uncover Ostomy's Facebook page is dedicated to promoting the campaign and is also an online support group for the ostomy community. Check out the latest events that Jessica and the Uncover Ostomy team are participating in and watch “Where's Your Ostomy?” video campaign on YouTube.
Would you like Jessica to speak at your next event? Contact Uncover Ostomy.