“If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.” – unknown
Calgary Ostomy’s Executive Committee at the Step Up For Ostomy event on Sept 25, 2021. Photo by Sean Currie.
Deanna Desramaux, Vice President & Volunteer Visitor
Deanna’s journey began in 1998 with a diagnosis of a connective tissue disorder known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome – the Vascular type. This is the terminal and most dangerous aspect of EDS as it affects the cardio-vascular system along with the joints and muscles. Her large intestines perforated in 2012 which culminated in an irreversible colostomy. Then in 2014 while on a trip to Costa Rica, she found herself in hospital (there’s a story you want to hear!) which resulted in a 10 day stay and a HUGE bill. Thank goodness for insurance! Upon returning to Calgary, surgery was performed and an ileostomy resulted. She connected with the Calgary Ostomy Society in 2017, becoming a volunteer visitor. As per the medical team in 1998 she was given 6-12 months to live. Deanna credits her positive attitude and the help of the amazing doctors, family and friends for her ability to continue to experience life. Feel free to ask Deanna about her diagnosis and her journey to get to where she is now.
Tiffany Shorson, Newsletter Editor & Webmaster
Tiffany is an ileostomate and has served the Calgary Ostomy Society since 2015 as newsletter editor, webmaster and admin. She also volunteers with Ostomy Canada Society too. She underwent pediatric colectomy surgery in 1992, at age 11, due to Ulcerative Colitis. She had her first ileostomy for 7 months, which was reversed with ileoanal pull-through surgery. In 2004 she finally opted for a J-Pouch. She had terrible pouchitis and then in 2009 had a Koch Pouch surgery. That didn’t work out, so she was finally left with a permanent ileostomy in 2011. Tiffany was also diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and thus retired at a young age from office work. She has learned how to create a life worth living through therapy for depression and trauma, but volunteering has been integral to her healing.
Helmut D., Treasurer & Membership
Helmut is an ileostomate and has been volunteering with COS since 2018.