From North Central Oklahoma Ostomy Outlook October 2009:

New “Uncover Ostomy” Website to Improve Image of Ostomy

A new website called “Uncover Ostomy” at www.UncoverOstomy.com has been launched as “an online awareness campaign shaping a positive conversation about the ostomy in social media spaces. We will be sharing positive stories and thought provoking images—dare we say sexy?—to spark this conversation.” This project is the creation of Jessica Grossman (pictured below), a 20-year-old actor, model and university student from Toronto, Canada who has had an ileostomy since 2003. The project is supported by IDEAS (the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society—see www.WeNeedIdeas.com) and by UOAA.

Uncover Ostomy

The new website was launched on Oct 3, coinciding with the observance of World Ostomy Day 2009 throughout most of the world. (The U.S. observance of World Ostomy Day has been postponed to Oct 17; expect more publicity about the Uncover Ostomy site as this Oct 17 date approaches.) The new site is linked closely to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. If you’re on Facebook, check out the Uncover Ostomy page at www.facebook.com/uncoverostomy

Here is some background on Jessica in her own words:

I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on September 3rd, 1989.

I grew up loving the arts; acting, singing, dancing, drawing, painting, and everything in between. I went through various career goals as a child, such as a teacher and a fashion designer, but my real dream has always been to be an actor.

School was a big part of my life. Elementary school was private and high school was public. I learned very different things from both schools and their environments, but I learned a lot nonetheless.

When I was 8 years old, I started to have stomach pains.

When I was 9 years old, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

When I was 10 years old, I was living with chronic pain and symptoms of the disease.

When I was 11 years old, I spent my first 9 days in the hospital, 7 of which I was not allowed to eat.

When I was 12 years old, I lived in the hospital.

When I was 13 years old, I was told if I did not agree to have my colon removed and replaced with an ostomy, I would die.

When I was 13, I was saved.

This is just a summary.

Despite how much I dislike talking “about me” there is an important story to be told. A story that needs to be told.

In grade 12, I was asked to create a media campaign to spread awareness of a topic of my choosing. Of course, I chose my ostomy. This was my chance to share my story and spread awareness and to show that if I can be comfortable with what I have, anyone can be.

The ad campaign I created was well received. It ended up being published in a few magazines and helped me win a scholarship to attend the University of Western Ontario for Media Studies.

The message my ad contained, however, needed to be spread wider. This is when I teamed up with IDEAS and the UOAA. They told me my campaign was exactly what they needed—what society needed—to spread awareness.

And this is what I’m doing.


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This page last revised 2009-10-07

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