07 July, 2017
Six months after my stoma operation, research led me to find the ‘Get your belly out’ campaign and girls doing photo shoots in bikinis and underwear. Since having my stoma operation a year past June I had always hidden my stoma bag under clothing, I never went swimming, nor would I wear short tops on nights out.
I decided I wanted to do something really brave and inspirational to help other people in the same situation as me, not to be afraid of your bag and embrace something that has either saved your life or giving you a better quality of life.
I took part in an underwear photo shoot to help raise awareness, I was quite nervous to start with but my photographer Angie Gray (Angie Louise Photography) made me feel at ease and gave me confidence. My aim is to inspire people. I uploaded my photos on social media and received over 350 likes and comments for my pictures on the Colostomy Association closed support group page. I also made an Instagram account @livinglifewithastomax for people to follow my journey where I update on hospital admissions, medication, diet and day to day, how I manage my stoma through the good days and the bad days.
I want people to look up to me and say ‘because of you I did it.’ I want to inspire people as much as I can, and let girls know that they are beautiful in underwear and bikinis, they can wear short tops on nights out and go on holiday and be on the beach with a bikini on without having to cover themselves up.
Everyone should be proud of their scars and their stoma bags, every scar tells a story, a story everyone should be proud of!