Live, Learn, Share


An ostomy refers to the surgically created opening on the abdomen to allow the discharge of stool or urine. There are over 1,000,000 people in the United States living with an ostomy, and approximately 120,000 new ostomy surgeries are performed each year as a result of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), trauma, and birth defects, yet public awareness of ostomates is surprisingly low. Adjusting to life with an ostomy pouch can be an emotionally difficult journey. The UOAA (United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc) is a non‐profit 501(c)(3)organization, whose mission is to establish community ostomy support groups to help ease this challenging transition for new ostomates. The United Ostomy Associations of America will celebrate World Ostomy Day on October 3, 2015, and in honor of this, Triangle area ostomy nurses are combining efforts to orchestrate the 2nd annual WannaWearOne Ostomy AWEARness 5K in Durham, NC as the national marquee event for this special day. All proceeds will go directly to the United Ostomy Associations of America to help strengthen ostomy support groups nationwide and promote community ostomy education, empathy and awareness. Public awareness of those living with an ostomy is the first step toward a greater understanding, empathy and compassion.

Our Mission:

To increase public awareness about persons living with an ostomy, promote empathy and compassion, and support the educational and support services provided by the UOAA to the ostomy communities across the country.

Ryan Switzer’s Story