Sam Shakes – One of our Step Up For Stomas Heroes
20 August, 2021
Sam Shakes is taking on our Step Up For Stomas Challenge this September. Here she explains why.
“In April 1998, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (a bowel disease) and by November, underwent life-saving surgery. This resulted in the removal of my colon and appendix and the formation of a stoma. Having a stoma meant expelling stool into a plastic bag located on my abdomen. It was expected that I would be on medication for the rest of my life. Ulcerative Colitis – surgery – a stoma – medication! This couldn’t be happening, but it was. This was a tragedy and ‘bad’ news and what followed was a rollercoaster of depression and alcoholism”
Changing adversity into an advantage
“However, the good news was – this was the start of a healthier and happier life.
Being able to attend a support group, speaking with fellow ostomates and reading inspiring stories helped me regain a life worth thriving for. I managed the unfamiliar, unpredictable and unwanted challenges and used my experience to help others.
I became a chronic disease Self-management tutor and have helped 100’s of people (including ostomates) to improve their health. And, I published a self-help book based on my experience that received a starred award from the Nursing Standard Journal (never expected that!)”
So, why am I fundraising for Colostomy UK?
“I’m fundraising to help provide vital services such as: befriending; support groups; and publications. I want to support the charity, so it can continue offering support and advice that helps us ostomates thrive”
You can donate to Sam’s fundraising page here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-shakes