My name is Lauren and I’m 28. I’ve been an ostomate now for 6 and half years. I have my ileostomy due to Hirschsprung’s disease, mega colon, whole gut slow transit and colonic inertia.

After nearly losing my life several times due to my invisible illnesses I’ve become extremely proud of myself.  I’ve moved countries and left my childhood home town. When I first got my stoma bag it was a rough journey I couldn’t really cope.

What I will say to others facing stoma/bowel surgery is always ask your surgeon as many questions as you need doesn’t matter how many times, confide in friends/family, don’t ever ever be ashamed of the fact you have to have a stoma, embrace it.  And don’t be afraid to speak about it and raise awareness. And on your bad days if you need to cry don’t hesitate too. You’re entitled to have those down days. Remember what makes you different makes you beautiful. I’m Ostomy proud.

– Lauren S.