This petition started as a plea to Dr. Oz to do a segment on what an Ostomy is and how to care for it. But I am updating this request for him to do an entire show about Digestive Diseases, such as Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. As a person who has lived with Crohn's Disease for over 20 years and now colostomy patient, I understand the importance of acceptance and awareness. Patients living with digestive diseases and those who have had an ostomy surgery are many times facing a challenge of acceptance back into the world. This acceptance is lacking due to lack of knowledge about digestive diseases and the life saving surgeries. Most urgently, ostomy patients have no one to turn to usually about caring for their ostomy or their diet. We need to build awareness about digestive diseases, an ostomy surgery and what it means to have one. Dr Oz has tackled many issues on his show, yet a request to discuss an ostomy has been denied again and again. And no show has been dedicated to digestive disease, except colon cancer. As a doctor and celebrity, he has an obligation to meet the needs of the public, the patients living with digestive diseases and ostmates nationwide who could use his advice on how to live with these diseases and live with an ostomy.
Most surgeons step away after a successful surgery, I am hoping that Dr Oz doesn't step away, but engages in the continued care of people living with an ostomy and a digestive disease. There In addition, it is my hope that he promotes the valuable support groups that are in place across the country and are arranged by the UOAA (United Ostomy Associations of America) and the amazing work of organizations like the CCFA (Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America). By showing people they are not alone, these support groups play an important part in giving a person the courage and hope to go on living a normal and healthy life. Living with a digestive disease does not have to be a death sentance, it does not mean life living in the bathroom.
I have shared my story on CNN.com in an effort to raise awareness.
Please do your part in helping build a society that supports over 1.4 million Americans who fight digestive diseases each and every day. And more importantly, address those who have had no choice but to have surgery to save their lives and are now living with an ostomy bag.