When I graduated college in 2008, a whole new world of independence and possibility opened for me. Shortly after my peers were out on the town, I found myself with a new and scary diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. I spent eight years trying to gain remission without luck. In 2016 I joined a powerful, encouraging and compassionate community of ostomates. My stoma’s name is Rita! She became permanent in 2017 due to complications of peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum.

I’ve been chronicling my journey with an ostomy on my blog and Instagram account called “My Intestinal Fortitude.” I find it cathartic to share my story and hope that by doing so I am helping to reduce the stigma of life with an ostomy. Patient and community education about IBD and ostomies have become a new passion of mine. My own health journey even led me to change careers from being a graphic designer to pursuing a master’s degree in Acupuncture! I am a firm believer in finding the right balance between western and eastern medical therapies to obtain optimal health and wellness.

I currently live in Washington, DC with my husband and two celebrity cats, Chip and Mama. Outside of my studies, you can find me swimming, knitting, paddle boarding on the Potomac, cooking up new recipes in the kitchen, eating my way through the culinary scene in DC, or exploring new cities.