I first found out about the Patient Coach program through @Kristenschronicles on Instagram. She was posting on their Instagram story and mentioned that they were recruiting new Patient Coaches. I couldn’t wait to apply! I am so excited to be a part of something more.

I don’t know anyone else personally that has an ostomy like me, and I am excited to be surrounded by positive people through the Patient Coach program.

I’ve had my ileostomy since July of 2017 but have suffered with Crohn’s Disease since 2012. I decided after several doctor visits, hospitals stays, and multiple medications that enough was enough. Nothing seemed to work, and I was fatigued, drained, always in pain, and looked sick. I underwent my seven-hour proctocolectomy at 7 AM on July 7th of 2017 and never looked back. My ileostomy is permanent, and though I do encounter some hard days, there are few of them. I much rather live my life of dancing, snowboarding, beach vacations, and eating delicious food than the way I managed to survive before.

My one piece of advice for new ostomates is to embrace your new life. This is a big scary change, but you can’t succeed with it if you don’t try. Don’t be afraid to try new things or old things that you thought you can’t do with an ostomy. This is just one more thing that makes you special.