Support Stomawise & The OstoBears as I Celebrate My 1st Stomaversary


JustGiving for Airkix

Good Evening OstoBuddies,
I do hope that you are all well and that the cold weather isn’t being too harsh on your health and ailments. It would seem that almost everywhere in the UK has snow except us in Cambridgeshire! I’m most disappointed, as is my daughter, but the bright blue sky, sunshine and the singing birds almost make up for it. The sun has certainly been shining down on me this past year, even when the skies have been grey.
Soon I will be celebrating a particularly special anniversary, my 1st Stomaversary! It’s such a poignant time for me; it marks a day when a life of painful suffering and deep unhappiness ended and a bright, happy, new life of sunshine and rainbows began. Bizarrely, I was sorting out my wardrobe earlier in the week and came across an old handbag I had with me in hospital when my stoma was formed. I found the diary I had penned my stay in, along with some notes, hospital discharge letters and a half-eaten roll of sticky mints that were well past their best before date. It certainly brought the memories flooding back, not just the memories of hospital, but the sad and lonely memories of the existence I led before it. It’s hard to believe that this time last year I weighed a frail 5st 8lb’s with a bmi of 13.4. I would spend most of the day hunched-over on the toilet and the rest of it in bed, physically weak and exhausted. I only ever left the house when it was absolutely necessary and it was always planned well in advance; the bare minimal that I did eat I had to make sure I didn’t have for 18 hours before and I took my own’ toilet’ car pack as I called it. This consisted of a potty, toilet roll, wet wipes, news paper, blankets, water and disposable bags, and yes it was used on various occasions when I was in my car whenever that sudden urge hit me. And then we have the times that I was out walking, away from a toilet……you can probably guess what happened on those occassions, as well as the heartbreak at the total loss of all dignity that came with it. This is the very reason why I will be celebrating the day when my Ileostomy was formed and all that pain and heartache ceased.

This year has been absolutely fabulous; I have made some truly wonderful life-long friends, had my first weekend away on my own, been chosen to front the Stomawise awareness calendar in my bikini, and had some totally awesome days out without a care in the world. I can eat out, drink out, spontaneously jump in my car and the world is my osyter….the list is endless….these things seem like the norm for most, but were once the impossible for me – things I could only ever dream of doing. But, the cherry on the icing has to be the amazing opportunities that I’ve been given and that continue to come my way; this year is set to be even bigger and better and I cant wait to achieve some major goals and have a purpose in life. Not only do I want to celebrate this incredible year and my 1st Stomaversary, I want to give something back and so on the weekend of my Stomaversary I will be doing an indoor sky-dive at Aikix with my daughter Chloe (8) and OstoBear Billy. This, of course, will be in aid of Stomawise and the OstoBears which are both very close to my heart; putting a smile on a poorly childs face and offering invaluable support to parents at what feels like a very dark and lonely time in their lives makes such a difference. As an ostomate yourself, you know all too well how daunting it is and that no matter how positive and prepared you thought you were about it, it still takes time to adjust and take everything in, so you can only imagine how scary it is through the eyes of a child. Since the OstoBear charity was founded, hundreds of ‘Billy’s’ & ‘Bella’s’ have been donated to children across the UK – either pre or post ostomy surgery – which have had a huge (positive) impact on children’s fears, acceptance and understanding of their new ostomy.

The event is taking place on Saturday the 7th of February at Airkix in Manchester (nr. Trafford Centre) and all are welcome to come along to show their support and have the chance to meet the OstoBears. We (Stomawise) will also be having a table set-up at Airkix, too. If you would like to make a donation – no matter how big or small, every penny is apreciated – to sponsor myself, Chloe & Billy for the ‘dive’ you can do this through JustGiving by clicking here.

Myself, Chloe & Billy can’t wait and hope to see some of you there supporting us; for those of you that are unable to come and meet us, check out both the OstoBear’s and Stomawise’s facebook pages for photo’s and videos of the big event.

Rachel xxx