The Ostomy Foundation mentors, educates, supports and empowers ostomates, family members, caregivers and others within the ostomy community. Through support networks, speaking engagements, social media and community programs, the nonprofit helps individuals navigate their journey while encouraging them to realize their full potential. The foundation also advocates for client rights and strives to eliminate misconceptions and stereotypes related to ostomy that exist for ostomates and in the general public. The organization works with clients of all ages and from all stages of illness. This includes pre-op and immediate post-op surgery care, and those who seek long-term assistance for continuing education and emotional support.
Ostomy surgery allows waste to exit the body through a surgically created diversion from the diseased area to an exterior pouch, which may also be referred to as a bag.
Reasons for this life-saving surgery may be, but are not limited to, cancer, ulcerative colitis (UC), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s Disease, birth defects and many other medical conditions.