Let’s talk about the secret surgery

To the Editor:

It’s time to talk about what was once known as the ‘secret surgery.’ As a recipient of life-saving ostomy surgery and volunteer with the Bayonne Ostomy Alliance, I am writing in support of Ostomy Awareness Day on October 7.
United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) estimates 725,000 to 1 million people are living with an ostomy in the United States. An ostomy is a type of surgery that creates an opening (stoma) in the abdomen allowing for the removal of bodily waste into a pouch outside the body. 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.
This year’s theme is “Navigate the Journey Together” and meant to recognize ostomy patients are not alone. Resources such as The Bayonne Ostomy Alliance and ostomy nursing specialists are available for those adjusting to a ‘new normal’ life. This year’s champion for the day is Rolf Benirschke, a former NFL placekicker and Pro Bowler with the San Diego Chargers. He excelled on and off the field in life after surgery and was one of the first to speak publically about this misunderstood surgery. Please help us to continue to shatter this silence.
Everyone is welcome at meetings of The Bayonne Ostomy Alliance. Please join us at the Bayonne Medical Center, the second Wednesday of every month from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. in the 2B Conference Room or contact Larry Pilarski at ostomyvisitor@aol.com.

Bayonne Ostomy Alliance