Press Release

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Events: 10/6/18

Stigmas Melt Away at World Ostomy Day 5k

This was the year a model appeared in a national lingerie company ad wearing a “colostomy bag” on her abdomen. In the photos she appears young, beautiful, confident, and all smiles­–with an ostomy pouch placed on top of a surgically created stoma. To her, this is simply a prosthetic and required to live her best possible life. She is just one of an estimated 725,00 – 1 million people in the United States who have had a life-saving ostomy surgery.

October 6, 2018 is World Ostomy Day and it will be celebrated in the U.S. with the fifth annual Run for Resilience Ostomy 5k. It is bringing ostomy awareness front and center in nine communities around the U.S. and with a free worldwide Virtual 5k run/walk. For those that can’t run/walk, this year there is also a Virtual Day on the Hill that people can participate in to raise ostomy awareness.

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. Sadly, some people still choose death over this surgery due to remaining stigmas. “The Run for Resilience Ostomy 5k proves that people with an ostomy live active and productive lives. If you met someone with an ostomy you’d likely never even know it,” says Susan Burns, President of United Ostomy Associations of America.” “A younger generation is now openly talking about life with an ostomy and posting photos on social media that proudly show off their ostomy pouches.”

Organized by volunteers and ostomy nurses around the country these family-friendly run/walk events are held on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 in Durham, NC; Portland, OR; Mesa, AZ; Nashville, TN; Pennsauken, NJ; Harrison Twp, MI; East Stroudsburg, PA; Birmingham, Alabama and on Oct. 13, in Boise, ID. The Virtual Ostomy 5k lets people spread ostomy awareness wherever they are. Proceeds benefit United Ostomy Association of America (UOAA) a 501(c)(3) charity organization.

“Hollister Incorporated is proud to stand with UOAA as the Diamond Sponsor of its 2018 Run for Resilience Ostomy 5K. UOAA and its members work tirelessly to increase awareness and support quality of life and life-saving ostomy surgery,” said Brian Luedtke, Hollister Senior Vice President, The Americas. “By coming together as a community we can collectively make a difference and help people living with ostomies experience their best lives.” Events are sponsored nationally by Hollister, Coloplast, Byram, ConvaTec, Safe n Simple and B. Braun.

As for that model? Gaylyn Henderson is also an advocate and will serve as this year’s UOAA World Ostomy Day Champion. For more information on the events and to register visit For World Ostomy Day info and more visit call 800.826.0826 or email