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‘Ostomy doesn’t have to define you’: Toronto woman fights to end stigma

‘Ostomy doesn’t have to define you’: Toronto woman fights to end stigma
Health
According to statistics provided by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada , more than 270.000 Canadians were believed to have ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease in 2018. That number is expected to rise to 403,000 by 2030, or to about one in 100 people.

The organization’s website males and females are equally affected by the diseases. A combination of genetic and environmental factors thought to be responsible.

Alberta mother shows off life-saving ostomy bag in powerful boudoir photo shoot

Stigma

Grossman said the stigma around ostomy bags has decreased since she started raising awareness about the procedure a decade ago.

“Ten years ago when you Googled the ostomy, really unfortunate pictures would show up,” she said.

Grossman credited Instagram, in part, for pushing change.

“There’s photos everywhere of all these people, amazing people saying, ‘Look, I can do this,’ — girls doing yoga — there’s guys doing rock climbing,” she said.

“Some of their photos show the ostomy and some of them don’t, but they’re talking about it.”

Previous photo campaigns of Grossman’s put the ostomy bag at the forefront. But going forward, she said she intends to shift focus to the person instead.

“It’s like do what you want to do,” Grossman said.

“The ostomy doesn’t have to define you. It doesn’t have to be who you are. It helps you be who you want to be, but it’s not all that you are.”
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