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Actor, model, and businesswoman LeeAnne Hayden felt like she was the only person in the world with a stoma. In this video, she shares her inspirational story about how she found her ostomy community online.
Living with an ostomy can evoke a variety of conflicting emotions – relief, anxiety, hope, self-consciousness, and perhaps a feeling that no one in your social circle can truly understand your circumstances. You may have questions like: How can I get support? How can I connect with other people with ostomies? How do I find an ostomy community?
LeeAnne Hayden had these questions too. It took her five years to find her ostomy community, and now she shares her compelling personal journey in a new video produced in partnership with Hollister Incorporated.
LeeAnne is an ostomy advocate who, at the age of 45, survived a rare form of cancer that left her with a permanent colostomy. She began her quest to find support by sharing her story on social media and searching online with the hashtag #ostomy. She soon connected with many fellow ostomates, and also amassed thousands of online friends and followers. Today, she’s the host of The Beautiful Bag podcast where people with ostomies share their moving personal stories and their appreciation for being given a second chance at life.
“This community is bigger than you think it is,” says LeeAnne. “725,000 to a million people in the US live with an ostomy – so get out there and start building your tribe!”
Financial Disclosure: LeeAnne Hayden received compensation from Hollister Incorporated for her contribution to this article.
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