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On October 6, 2018, the world united to celebrate World Ostomy Day. People of all walks of life and ages came together in person, on social media and through their legislators to bring the experiences of people living with and caring for ostomies to light. Sponsored by the International Ostomy Association (IOA), this special day is celebrated every three years—and 2018 engaged more people than ever. This year's theme "Speaking Out Changes Lives" was the perfect rally cry for raising awareness and support.
Check out the fun .....
UOAA (United Ostomy Associations of America) celebrated World Ostomy Day 2018 from coast to coast and globally. "People really embraced the theme and it made for a great day," says Ed Pfueller, Communications and Outreach Manager at UOAA. "We could see the impact of sharing with friends and family, and so many being more open about their ostomies."
The Run for Resilience Ostomy 5K
Now in its fifth year, The Run for Resilience Ostomy 5K took place on October 6 and 13 in nine locations across the country, as well as the Virtual Run/Walk. People from as far away as New Zealand, England and Thailand also participated in the Virtual Run/Walk. Over 900 people and 124 volunteers took part and raised over $38,000 in donations and registrations to help support UOAA's programs and services. In Durham, North Carolina, the birthplace of The Run for Resilience, UOAA recognized race co-founders WOC (Wound Ostomy Continence) Nurses Lara Leininger and Angela Richardson with the Star Volunteer of the Year Award. The Virtual Run really took off this year as well.
Streaming Live and Changing Lives
Thousands reached out with the hashtag #OstomyDayUSA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to let UOAA know what they were doing to raise ostomy awareness and celebrate the day. UOAA also launched a Live Facebook event featuring Gaylyn Henderson, the founder of "Gutless and Glamorous," an organization dedicated to improving the lives of those living with chronic illness.
Making a Roar on The Hill
UOAA reached out and Capitol Hill listened. Congressman Donald Payne Jr. from New Jersey introduced HR 1106 designating October 6 as National Ostomy Awareness Day on the House floor. And thanks to the greater ostomy community, 16 states including California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin received proclamations (a government document that officially recognizes an observance in your community).
For more information, support and ways to advocate for ostomy awareness go to ostomy.org.
To celebrate and honor World Ostomy Day, Hollister Incorporated launched several initiatives to engage the greater ostomy community.
"What made this year really special was that there were so many different ways people could get involved," says Jill Dancewicz, Consumer Marketing Manager at Hollister. "These opportunities met people where they were at in their ostomy journey, and enabled them to engage how they felt comfortable, out in the community or at home virtually."
Social Media Storm
People all over the US, and all over the world in places like Canada, Brazil, and the UK, proudly shared photos of themselves on social media, wearing their educational Stoma Stickers and using the hashtags #AllinforOstomy and #WorldOstomyDay. In fact, Hollister tracked more than three times as many social media posts in 2018 than last year, and social interactions across 64 countries!
Run for Resilience Diamond Sponsorship
Hollister was proud to be the Diamond Sponsor of the UOAA's Run for Resilience Ostomy 5K events. Secure Start associates were an enthusiastic presence at each of the nine event locations with fun and inspirational photo props, Stoma Stickers, and educational materials. A total of 234 Hollister associates participated in two virtual runs at the Libertyville campus and the Stuarts Draft manufacturing facility to show support and raise funds for UOAA.
All in for Ostomy Virtual Conference
For the first time in the ostomy category, Hollister launched a Virtual Conference for the broader community, featuring a series of educational webinars to help teach people how to live comfortably with an ostomy or how to support a loved one with an ostomy. These webinars focused on skin health, including itching and other peristomal skin concerns and maintaining healthy skin. The conference also included an interactive Town Hall featuring three panelists—Ryan Van Voorhis, Lois Fink, and Chris Sperry (right to left)—sharing their stories and how they confidently embrace life with an ostomy.
If you missed the virtual conference, we have made the videos available for replay. Visit the Hollister YouTube Channel at youtube.com/HollisterIncorporated for these and more videos.
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