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19th - 20th March 2025
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31 Jul 2023

From Stoma Surgery to Show Time!

From Disability Review Magazine

My journey into IBD and Ostomy life went from 0-100 very quickly. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease during an emergency hospital admission after years of feeling too embarrassed to talk about my symptoms. Three days later, I was being told I’d need stoma surgery to save my life. I took to stoma life very quickly. It saved my life and I had to embrace that. 

Almost six years down the line, I have gone from being an extremely unwell 20-year-old to a 26-year-old who uses that pain as a reminder to make each day count. One of the questions I had asked before my ostomy surgery is if I’d be able to dance again. Amateur Theatre has been part of my life for 20 years and I didn’t want this to stop that passion. The good news is that I was back on-stage dancing almost a year later and haven’t stopped since. One thing I had on my post-surgery bucket list was to be in another show at the Minack Theatre. I had been in four productions at this venue prior to surgery and I sadly missed out on what would have been my fifth show there due to the timing of my diagnosis and surgery. I am so proud to say that I got to go back there last year with Redruth Amateur Operatic Society Trust performing Carousel.

A Minack week has its challenges, but I listened to my body when I needed to and took time out when I needed to which meant I had the most amazing week with everyone. I’d love to know if any other ostomates have performed at the Minack. This year, I will be performing Kinky Boots with RAOST, back at our home theatre in Redruth, Cornwall. This show is all about being who you want to be, believing in who you are, and celebrating differences. As someone who is living with IBD and a stoma, I want to make a difference and show that life isn’t over by believing in myself and celebrating being different! I am so grateful that I have safe spaces to celebrate still being here. Living life to the fullest is my biggest goal as I could have missed all of this if it wasn’t for my ostomy surgery. I am here proving that life isn’t over when you have a stoma.

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Article from Disability Review Magazine, Summer 2023.

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