From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook Sept 2003:

UOA Teen Network Launches Internet Discussion Board

by Bob Baumel, UOA Web Technical Manager, Sept 2003

Our Teen Network, targeted to 11-17 year olds, is a major component of UOA's new Network strategy (See report about 2003 UOA Conference below). Getting through the adolescent years can be challenging for anyone. For kids with an ostomy or alternative surgery, it's especially difficult without a good support network.

UOA's major program for youngsters in this age range has traditionally been the Youth Rally. For those lucky enough to attend the Rally, it's often a life-changing experience, providing the first opportunity for many of these kids to meet others of the same age with similar condition/surgery. They share coping strategies and make friendships that can last a lifetime.

The new Teen Network is intended to connect 11-17 year olds outside of the Youth Rally. The network is co-chaired by Cheryl Ebbinghaus and her mother Jude. See Cheryl's article, A Champion's Story which appeared in Winter 2003 OQ, and also the Teenage Outlook articles by Brittney Sherman in the Spring 2003 and Summer 2003 OQ issues. (And you can read all three of these articles on the Teen Network web page at

To enable electronic communication among youths in its target age range, the Teen Network is launching a new Message Board on the UOA website, to join UOA's pre-existing boards (General ostomy discussion, Young Adult Network and Parents Network). The new Teen Board will start in Sept 2003 and will probably be live by the time this newsletter goes to press. To access any of UOA's discussion boards, surf on over to

Additional programs undertaken by the Teen Network include a Pen Pal program, as well as a "Mentoring" program, where Teens can be paired with more experienced ostomate "mentors," typically selected from UOA's Young Adult network. Watch for these programs by checking regularly at the Teen Network web page:

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Content last revised 2003-09-13