Press Release



Events: 10/7 & 10/14/17

National Ostomy Awareness Day and 5k Runs Bring “Secret Surgery” into the Spotlight

It’s time to talk about what was once known as the ‘secret surgery.’ The Run for Resilience Ostomy 5k raises awareness and supports life-saving ostomy surgery.

United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) estimates that 725,000‑1 million people are living with an ostomy in the United States. An ostomy is a type of surgery that creates an opening (stoma) in the abdomen that allows for the removal of bodily waste into a pouch outside the body. This life-saving surgery may occur due to birth defects, cancer, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, trauma (such as a military service injury or accident), and other medical conditions.

This year’s events kick-off on Ostomy Awareness Day Saturday, October 7, 2017. The Ostomy Awareness Day champion is NFL Legend Rolf Benirschke, a former Pro Bowl placekicker with the San Diego Chargers. He excelled on and off the field in life after surgery and was one of the first to speak publically about this misunderstood surgery. Please help us to continue to shatter this silence.

Organized by volunteers and ostomy nurses around the country these family-friendly run/walk events are held on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 in Durham, NC; Mesa, Arizona; and Cookeville, TN. On October 14, 2017 events are held in Portland, OR; Boise, ID and Birmingham, AL. The nationwide Virtual Ostomy 5k Run helps build community and attracts runners to spread ostomy awareness wherever they are on October 7th.

“This run will help show other people living with an ostomy that they are truly not alone,” says UOAA President Susan Burns. “Most of all, I hope that this run helps raise awareness in the community for the strength and resilience of this active group of people of all ages.”

Proceeds benefit the charity UOAA a 501(c)(3) organization and events are sponsored nationally by Hollister, Coloplast, Convatec, Safe n Simple and Hy-Tape.

For more information on the event and to register visit To find out more about Ostomy Awareness Day or find a local support group visit or call 800.826.0826