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. The mission is to "spread positive awareness of the life-saving surgery and to encourage body positivity for those living with an ostomy."
The site 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 has become her goal to tell everyone what an ostomy is. While in high school, she put together a media project to spread positive ostomy awareness which earned her a college scholarship.
Her message is clear - if Jessica can convey a sense of confidence (and sexiness) despite her ostomy, then perhaps being an ostomate isn’t really such a stigma. Uncover Ostomy shares thought provoking images to spark this conversation. Check out the latest events that Jessica and the Uncover Ostomy team are participating in and take a look at their “Where's Your Ostomy?” video.
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 blog to show others that living with an ostomy doesn’t hold her back. Uncover Ostomy's Facebook page is dedicated to promoting the campaign and is also an online support group for the ostomy community.
Help Spread The Word
You can help change negative perceptions surrounding ostomy surgery by sharing Jessica's post, "13 years later, I am here. Alive. Healthy. And celebrating what my brother has accurately titled my “Bag-Mitzvah.”
Would you like Jessica to speak at your upcoming event? Connect with Uncover Ostomy here.
Photos by Angela McConnell © Uncover Ostomy