Is the KEY 103 Healthier Together Campaign at the Palace Hotel Manchester! I’m so excited to be invited to such an event that should hopefully make a difference! I’m hoping we all get a chance to voice our own options about the NHS and how we feel it could be drastically improved in the Manchester area.
A few weeks ago I kindly asked a fellow blogger/ IBD sufferer if she would like to participate in a bit of guest blogging to which I got huge YES. So i’m very pleased to introduce Corinne, here is a bit of information about her story, #GETYOURBELLYOUT CAMPAIGN and what she is doing to help with fund-raising for IBD Awareness!
My name is Corinne and I’m a Vlogger/New Blogger ‘CozzieCorinne’, Singer, IVF’er, Ulcerated Colitis Survivor and JPoucher… aaaand breathe!
I was kindly asked by the lovely Jessica, to write a guest blog.. and this will be my very first of the kind! I decided that i would discuss something that is important to me, something that is a part of me, my struggles with IBD
I was Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1997 at the age of 17.
I suffered for so long with cramps, weight loss, fatigue, blood loss, needing blood transfusions, endless colonoscopies, medication, steroids, enemas (yuck) and more and by the time I was 20, on September the 26th 2000 I had to have my large intestine/colon removed. The disease had taken my whole large intestine and was taking over my life!
I was supposed to have this in three operations. Slowly reconnecting my small bowel to my rectum and briefly having a colostomy bag. I had to have all three operations in one. My small intestine wouldn’t reach my abdomen wall. The surgeon, using my small intestine, created a JPouch – restorative proctocolectomy.
I left the hospital and it wasn’t plain sailing… I had recently had my staples removed that held my wound together to heal and unfortunately when sleeping it opened and I was rushed in to have emergency surgery to heal. I also had a small leak where the JPouch was connected to my rectum that lead to another hospital visit to fix it.
But 14 years later (wow time flies) and I am doing well. I have to watch what I eat, still suffer with fatigue and have my flare ups but the operation all in all saved my life.
I was searching on youtube for Vloggers like me, who are also dealing with IBD and I came across Thaila Skye.
She has been on youtube since 2009 and is spreading Ostomy and IBD awareness.
Well, she made a video about a worldwide campaign called #GetYourBellyOut that was started by four ladies in the UK called Sahara, Victoria, Lorna and Gem who were also trying to raise awareness for IBD and raise money for the charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK
I followed all the links that Thaila had shared and found out that the Campaign asks you to upload a photo of your belly with the hash tag #GetYourBellyOut on any and all social networks that you use such a Facebook, twitter, and instagram, to nominate others to do the same then donate by Texting IBDA99 £3 to 70070
Like me, other People have seen others doing this and have felt the confidence to show their Bellies to represent the disease and to spread awareness. So I also took part and posted my photo to Instagram.
Bellies have been appearing of all different sizes and shapes from all over the WORLD! Some with scars, some with colostomy bags and some without anything at all… All to support IBD awareness and raise money for a charity called CCUK – Crohn’s and Colitis UK
I soon found out that there was a Facebook Fan page, twitter and Facebook Support group, which of course i joined.
After a few months of commenting and offering support where possible to people in the group that needed it, the campaign was getting bigger and bigger by the day. The founding members also in the group were needing to focus their efforts elsewhere and kindly asked myself and fellow ibders Lee Regis and Lisa Cummings the Honor of becoming admin on the support group.. of which has over 2000 members now and is continuing to grow!
WHAT I AM DOING TO HELP THE CAMPAIGN:
Sharing the links to the Go Fund Me Fundraising page, the #GetYourBellyOut Merchandise to purchase and all the ways to follow the campaign.
- GO FUND ME DONATIONS AND FUNDRAISING PAGE:
- WRISTBANDS & CAR STICKERS FOR SALE
You can buy #GetYourBellyOut wrist bands (modeled by myself and my fiancee) and car stickers!!!!!http://colitisandme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/buy-getyourbellyout-merchandise.html
- JOIN AND SHARE THE FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP:
AND THE LIKE PAGE WITH REGULAR UPDATES
I have also made a video about the campaign for my subscribers on youtube:
MY PLANS FOR FUNDRAISING:
IBD is such a ‘taboo’ subject. No one reeeeaalllly wants to talk about bowel movements and peoples toilet action. The campaign wants people to know they don’t need to hide their tummys, scars or colostomy bags.
I came home from work after a day on the Facebook group and was totally inspired to write a song. I got in front of my keyboard and the words and music started flowing. I wrote a song which i named ‘Just a part of me’ and uploaded a video to YouTube myself singing this song in my bed… and i shared it to the group. I was overwhelmed how many people connected to it. I plan to record the song, pop it on iTunes, with all proceed going to Crohn’s and Colitis UK!
MY SONG – ‘JUST A PART OF ME’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghqdzW9-AGQ
I have been touched by all the people i have connected with on the Facebook support group. Seeing people in pain and reaching out every day. Being part of that and helping in some way, from offering advice or just sending them positive thoughts and love. I have watched bonds be made, and i have made friendships for life myself.
I have organised with the help of Lee Regis, #GetYourBellyOut LONDON meet
30th of August
Diorama Art Studios
A chance for anyone dealing with IBD to come along and talk to other people at an informal event. A chance to make friends and have a chat over a cuppa. I leave you with details of the event and the event page on Facebook.
Key 103 radio station in the North West are running a campaign for members of the public to become an ambassador to help improve the NHS. I am sure many will agree that changes need to be made, whether the experiences you’ve had were personally or with a family member or friend. See link below for instructions on how to do this!
UK Residents only.
I had my first swim in the sea, wearing my bikini, on a very busy beach and couldn’t be more pleased.
It was March of the Mermaids last weekend so me and a few friends made the costumes and headed onto Brighton’s packed beach. At first I was nervous but then felt the confidence from my friends to sit in my bikini. I met my Bf and went for a dip.
I managed for 10 minutes in the sea, until I notice a man stood next to me gawping for a good few. I’m not going to lie, I did end up retreating back to my friends with my t- shirt covering my bag, a bit self conscious.
I ached a lot on the Sunday before the drive home, and after. I’ve been out of hospital for about 3 months so my abdomen is still healing. So my advice, avoid big drives until full recovery. Now I’ve said it, it’s a bit obvious!
Yesterday I went for a casting at a modelling agency in Manchester. I was extremely nervous to see what would be said about modelling when you have an Ileostomy. I was buzzed in when a very short, smiley woman greeted me and sat me down on their plush leather seats and gave me a form to fill in. Last question on the form, ‘Do you have a medical condition?’ …To which I wrote ‘Crohns Disease.’
Right now I don’t feel like it affects me other than the obvious ileostomy, I’m hopefully in remission, I suppose. So writing this down as a condition that is going to affect me and me being employed was a strange experience.
She asked me ‘how does it affect you’ to which I replied ‘not very much.’ She was actually willing to give me a chance, allowing me to ride the wave with her so to speak. See what people’s reactions are towards it, see if it will be a flop or success. I was given my acceptance letter with a big grin on my face, excited for the training, and what my future might be as a Crohns sufferer/ ileostomy bag owner/ model. That’s IF I get any jobs. I’m just hoping I’m strong enough for this imminent venture.
So I was waiting for my radio clip to appear on the website however for some reason it isn’t working! BUT i’ve managed to get it, here is the recording!
I was so nervous when doing it but I had so much fun. I was shown around the BBC, went into the BBC breakfast studio which is surprisingly small! I had a 30mins slot which was plentiful time, I didn’t get to mention things like #getyourbellyout campaign as I forgot to take notes with me so I was a bit gutted about that, but hopefully I helped with raising awareness about IBD’s. I would love to do it again one day!
Anyway here are a few snaps.
On Saturday (19/7) at 3:10pm I will be on Radio BBC Manchester being interviewed by Amy Clowes about Crohns Disease, Ileostomies and about my story! Hope some of you will have a listen! :)