An ostomy is the surgically created opening in the body for the elimination of bodily discharges such as feces or urine.It may be required after the removal of part of the intestines or bladder due to cancer, traumatic injury, or diseases, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis.When she was 13, her doctors presented the last remaining option: surgery to remove her colon and part of her small intestine. It’s one of the reasons I started Uncover Ostomy — to be that person for other people.”Postsurgery, she adjusted well to the ostomy bag.She remembers her surgeon, a family friend, explaining the operation. “Because of how sick I’d been, that made having the ostomy a lot easier.Grossman’s bag is about six inches long, made of durable plastic covered by fabric, attached below and to the right of her navel. “But a lot of people shouldn’t be wearing silk dresses,” she says with a laugh.On a Mexican vacation, she managed a string bikini with a bit of manoeuvring, she adds.
Jessica Grossman is 25, relishing the prime of her life.
While a student at Western University in 2009, Grossman launched the website, featuring photos and blog, with the help of Rob Hill, whom she had met at an ostomy camp.
Hill, a fellow Crohn’s sufferer and ostomate, climbed Mount Everest and promotes awareness of intestinal diseases.
An ostomy doesn’t have to inhibit a person from anything, physically, mentally or sexually, explains colorectal surgeon Zane Cohen, director of a digestive diseases centre bearing his name at Mount Sinai Hospital. I’m showing I’m just like everybody else.” For a long period, she wasn’t like everybody else.
Thousands of people from every vocation, even professional athletes and long-range pilots, he says, have ostomies, but it’s not talked about much. She was only 8 years old when digestion started to hurt.