2015 – My Personal Year in Review

Year in review 2015 header

Another year is has passed, and what a year it’s been!

It still amazes me that so much can get done in so little time, and 2015 was no exception! Much of the hard work that went into VeganOstomy in 2014 has started to pay off, and this year has a lot to show for the efforts.

I’ve been proud to see how much this site has grown, and so many special things have happened this year that I’ll cherish forever.

Here are some standout moments that happened in 2015 – enjoy!

February 2015

In February, I had written guest blog posts for both Trusted Therapies and The Great Bowel Movement.  While I don’t tend to do many guest blog posts due to lack of time, these were fun, and I’m glad I did them.

I was also interviewed live by my friend Frank Garufi Jr. as part of a Special Edition IBD Roundtable.

March 2015

March was a really exciting month, not only for me but other advocates, too!  I was awarded the title for “Best Kept Secret” in the WEGO  Health Activist Awards, alongside my friends Sara Ringer (of Inflamed and Untamed) and Megan (The Front Butt YouTuber), who took home their own prices!

I also did my first video collaboration with Megan on the “Crap ostomates say

Crap ostomates say: Part 1
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April 2015

I posted my blood test results, which continued to improve following my surgery.

With the help of a Registered Dietitian (who also happens to have Crohn’s Disease), I put together an article of tips on how to deal with the fear of food following a painful digestive disease.

May 2015

May marked the beginning of the season at Canada’s Wonderland, which played a huge role in my summer activities, and a place I’ve spent a lot of time at this year.

It was the first time being at an amusement park with my ostomy, and it would allow me to test my physical limits by riding on over 300 rides this year.

Because of my experiences there, I’ve been able to put together a guide for other ostomates on how to enjoy an amusement park with an ostomy.

June 2015

It was in June where I had discovered that amusement parks all over the world will accommodate both people with IBD and ostomates, and I shared this with others for the first time.  This would be a game-changer for me personally, but it also allowed many people who feared to wait in the long lines (due to incontinence) the ability to enjoy these places again.

I’ve had people from all over the world tell me how important this disability access pass has been for them, and I’ve also heard from people who have gone back to their local theme park since their IBD diagnosis or ostomy surgery.

June also saw the Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. I was able to raise just over $1000 for IBD research.

Gutsy Walk Durham 2015 Start line crowd

July 2015

I hosted my first IBD/Ostomy meetup at Canada’s Wonderland, where I was joined by a few fellow ostomates for a full day of fun!

True story: During our meetup, we had been on two rides that broke down mid-ride, and both my friend and my daughter were hit by someone’s cell phone on another coaster. Three time’s a charm – but we didn’t want to push our luck!

Wonderland July 11, 2015 (Large)

August 2015

August was fun! I celebrated my 2nd year of having an ostomy, and this website’s second year in operation.

I also hosted my second meetup at Canada’s Wonderland.

My article “Bye-Bye Colon Day” was published in the Ostomy Canada magazine summer edition! I’ll be able to publish the article on this site soon :)

September 2015

I was a guest panelist for the OstomyLife webinar.  This was a really fun webinar, and we were able to reach out to both patients and healthcare professionals who work with new ostomates.

During a very fun day at Canada’s Wonderland, I experienced an untimely leak, which I live vlogged about as I took care it of. It’s always important to learn something from these mishaps, as it can be helpful in preventing them from happening again.

October 2015

After months of hard work, and with the help of over a dozen ladies, I was able to put together my ostomy clothing guide for women.  It hasn’t been as popular as my guide for men, but the men’s guide took a while before it gained traction.

December 2015

I was publicly endorsed by an ET Nurse in the Ostomy Canada magazine winter edition. This has made me so proud, and it validates the effort I’ve put into helping others.

Looking forward to 2016

Exciting things are coming in 2016, and I’ll continue to create articles and videos focused on ostomy life.

I hope that you’ll join me!

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