It’s been a while since I’ve done a Follow Friday post on here, which is kind of sad because there are so many great resources out there that are worth highlighting! So this week I wanted to talk about an awesome organization for those living with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, ostomies, j-pouches and anything in between.
The Great Bowel Movement is all about awareness. The organization was started by Megan & Andrea and their main purpose is to empower patients and start conversations. GBM highlights patient stories and hopes to inspire others with IBD to share their experiences. One of my favorite things they offer are their Awareness T-shirts. They have shirts that encourage people to “Ask Me” about Crohn’s disease or ostomy or IBD. (You can see me in my T-shirt — showing off my ostomy — in the picture that I posted on here a few months ago.)
I also really admire the fact that GBM desires to work with other groups and organizations and not compete with them. On their site it states, “Together we stand. With over 1.4 million IBD patients, and even more with ostomies, the best way to achieve awareness is to stand together and work for a common cause. At the Great Bowel Movement, we are committed to working with other individuals and organizations with common missions of IBD awareness and empowerment. When we begin to compete against each other, our cause becomes diluted and our effectiveness decreases.” That gives me so much respect for them. I know sometimes, even in the non-profit world, people and organizations can get caught up in competing for support, but especially in trying to promote awareness for something like IBD, it’s so important to come together and work towards that common cause. Continue reading →
I have realized recently that even though ostomies and inflammatory bowel disease are not often discussed topics, there still are a lot of great resources out there. There are organizations, business and blogs that you can go to for information, apparel, advice, comfort, merchandise and many other things. I thought it would be a nice idea to highlight some of the places I have come across. So here’s my first Follow Friday ostomy/IBD style!
For anyone living with or faced with getting an ostomy, one of the biggest concerns is being able to feel comfortable in your own skin. I remember thinking before I had surgery, how would I ever feel sexy again? How would I be able to look at myself the same way ever again? And right around the same time that I was asking myself those questions, Awestomy was gearing up to start making undergarments for people living with an ostomy.
Their products are aimed at giving security and confidence to their wearers, and also allowing for some humor. They sell booty shorts for women that are high-waisted with lace and include a pocket for your ostomy bag. They have wraps for men and women that help keep the bag in place and smooth and also have a pocket for extra support. And for those who appreciate a sense of humor, they sell a number of t-shirts with phrases such as “Brown Baggin’ It” and “mama’s got a brand new bag” on them.
Awestomy is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $5000 that will allow them to ramp up their production abilities, research new lines of ostomy clothing, and put together a strong marketing campaign. What’s more, they have pledge levels starting at $1 and they have some great incentives for your donation, from ostomy apparel to getting to choose one of your next sayings for their stickers to even getting to be a fit tester for the company where you give feedback on the products and you get to keep all of your test items! They have a video on the page that talks about the company and what they hope to accomplish through the campaign. Continue reading →