At the age of 16, with a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and one intestinal resection behind me, I found myself with an ostomy after my bowels perforated. I was in a very vulnerable position, but saw the only way to move forward was to accept this new lifestyle and embrace it. I found myself alone, searching for others my age with ostomies, so I made my first YouTube video under the name Let’s Talk IBD. 8 years later, I still make videos all about Inflammatory Bowel Disease and ostomies!
I live with my fiancé and our four dogs on a small farm in Pennsylvania. We manage a hectic life caring for our animals and our house! My journey with my ostomy inspired me to become a pediatric GI nurse, exactly on the floor I stayed on after surgery. I continue to advocate and educate ostomy patients, which is how I became involved with 11 Health.
Being able to manage a group of Patient Champions is extraordinary! I get to be a part of a diverse group of ostomates and assist in their journeys as patient advocates. We act as a support group – sharing stories, providing advice, and being there for each other! I am excited to see how this group of ostomy patients changes how both patients and non-patients view the ostomy lifestyle!