My name is Rachel, and I am a 31-year-old woman from the UK who has been ill now for 10 years. I am a proud double ostomate with a permanent urostomy and ileostomy! It has been a journey, to say the least not just physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I have gone through stages of hopelessness, feeling lost, alone and in self-pity. To now finding gratitude for my illness, helping others and building a career based on my experiences.
To see more go to: Rachel Jury – Rocking2Stomas.co.uk
To see more go to: Emily Kohlman – Turning Scars Into Beauty Marks
Tommy Ludlow, the young recipient of the this year’s Courage to Shine award is already inspiring others to turn challenge into opportunity. Tommy received the honor, in part, because he is by all available accounts the first bladder exstrophy patient to hike to Mt. Everest Base Camp.
The 12-day journey to an elevation of 17,600 feet, is no small feat and Tommy had to overcome unique challenges. The burden of carrying medical supplies was lightened thanks to sponsorship from CompactCath. Tommy got hypothermia during the trip and he couldn’t use the medication everyone else did for more oxygen. But he and his family never gave up.
Other Birth Defects: