Diagnosed when I was 15 years old

As a child and in my teenage years I was very active and did a lot of sport. When I was 15 I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease following a period of when I became more and more tired. I was treated with medicine, but I never came back to my normal physical level again. There were lots of problems and pain, and at the age of 18 I had my first surgery due to stricture in the large bowel.

Coping with my new life

I learned to cope with having a stoma in due course. My experience is that the longer I had it, the easier it got. I have learned to deal with most situations by being well prepared, such as making sure to always have a spare bag with me, especially if I am far from home. At first I thought that the stoma would effect my social life in a negative way.

"I didn't think I would be as able to do many of the things that I had enjoyed, such as going to the cricket in summer."

My friends and family have all been very supportive and helped me with everything that I might need. I don't think any of them have change their perception of me. My advice to others with a stoma or to those who are going to get one soon, don't worry too much as you can still lead a relatively normal life. 


For Tania, deciding to have an ileostomy has allowed her to return to doing the things she loves best.


Emily is thankful for her surgeon and her stoma because she is alive.


Heather has been living with a colostomy and ileostomy since 2017.


One week after Grant's 60th birthday he was diagnosed with cancer.