Press Release


A Life-saving Surgery Moves Out of the Shadows

It can save the lives of those shot or stabbed in the abdomen. It’s a life-saving surgery used in the final stages of common cancers such as colorectal and bladder. When deadly complications of inflammable bowel disease arise, it can give life back. When an infant comes into this world with a birth defect or rare disease of the digestive system, it can provide a childhood not possible several generations ago.

Yet ostomy surgery is still often talked about in hush tones and cloaked in stigma. People of all ages have this type of surgery that creates an opening (stoma) in the abdomen that allows for the removal of bodily waste into an odor-proof pouch outside the body. At its most simple it’s just a new way to go to the bathroom.

Though ostomy support and information has been around for well over half a century it is known that people still delay or refuse the surgery and die because of a preconceived notion of life with an “ostomy bag.” People who have connected with support and educational resources like those available from United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA), learn that there is indeed a full life possible after surgery. With a proper pouching system fit, emotional support, and doctor and ostomy nurse consultation­ – there are no limits on what a person living with an ostomy is capable of doing.

“Let’s work together to make sure people don’t suffer alone in silence,” says UOAA President and Susan Burns who had her life saved over 30 years ago from ileostomy surgery.  Ostomies are life-savers­. UOAA estimates that there are 725,000 to 1-million people in the U.S. are alive today as a result of ostomy surgery. “We’re living proof that you can pick up the pieces and do things like play with your grandchildren, go to college, find love, excel in your career, play sports and embrace life,” Burns says.

Saturday, October 5, 2019 is Ostomy Awareness Day and the theme is “Ostomies Are Life-Savers.” You can help ostomy awareness move out of the shadows and into the public consciousness. The resilience of the ostomy community will be on display at eight Run for Resilience Ostomy 5k events around the country from September 28th through October 12th. You’re also invited to attend or gather friends and family wherever you want and sign-up for a virtual walk/run option. Please visit for details. “Hollister Incorporated is proud to stand with UOAA as the exclusive Diamond Sponsor of its 2019 Run for Resilience Ostomy 5K events. 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.”

Go to to learn more about this life-saving surgery and all the ways to make an impact on this day. The Run for Resilience is supported by Hollister, Coloplast, Byram, Colo-Majic, ConvaTec, Safe n Simple and Kem Enterprises.

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