Raising Awareness for Ostomies In Calgary
Calgary Ostomy Society held its third annual Step Up For Ostomy event at the Inglewood Community Hall on September 16, 2023.
Step Up For Ostomy is a national fundraising program in support of Ostomy Awareness. Ostomy Canada Society’s vision is to be Canada’s voice for people living with an ostomy. The financial support raised during Canada’s largest Ostomy Awareness event supports people with an ostomy and their families, helping them live life to the fullest through support, education, collaboration, and advocacy.
Calgary Ostomy held another fantastic event, with about 60 people in attendance. This year, in addition to the ostomy awareness walk at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, we offered a seated yoga session for those with mobility issues. This exciting event included a BBQ with door prizes and an Ostomy Photoshoot with Sean Currie. We also held an Ostomy Expo featuring several exhibitors, such as ostomy vendors and manufacturers. We would like to thank the following companies for sponsoring our event as well as providing door prizes and samples:
- CB Medical – Event Sponsor (thanks to Craig Bean for sponsoring the hall rental!)
- Staywell Home Care – Event Sponsor (thanks to Sandip Dave for sponsoring the BBQ)
- Coloplast – National Sponsor
- Hollister – National Sponsor
- Convatec – National Sponsor
- McKin Health (Marlen) – Event Sponsor
- Kenron Pharmacy – Event Sponsor
- Calgary Co-op Home Health Care couldn’t attend but donated a door prize.
Calgary Ostomy has many people to thank for making this another great event, including the exhibitors, volunteers, and ostomy models. Big kudos to the Planning Committee for all their hard work!
To those who donated and assisted with fundraising, we can’t thank you enough! This year, we raised $3355, with $280 donated in person at the event. Calgary Ostomy will receive a rebate of 10% for all funds raised in our vicinity. Ostomy Canada Society has raised about 45% of its goal of $100,00 to date. The Step Up For Ostomy campaign will be open until March 30. People living with an ostomy in Calgary are invited to help us reach our goal by creating fundraisers or donating via Just Giving.
We celebrated our Ostomy Awareness Day a few weeks early due to the availability of the community hall and Canadian holidays like Thanksgiving and National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Special thanks to Jaadaas Jagwaa, (Tiffany Shorson’s sister), who hosted the yoga session and read a Treaty 7 Land Acknowledgement with this inspiring message for ostomates:
“The morning of the event, I was building up my energy for the day and noticed that the bumble bee was on my heart. This animal guide approached me to empower the Ostomy Society and event participants. The bumble bee is a well-known survivor who has encountered extinction many times over thousands of years. Their survival nourishes us, just as Ostomy survivors nourish and enable the world through the unique lens that their collective health issues have given them. Like the bumble bee, Ostomy Survivors have much knowledge and medicine to share with the world to create a better place. The bee’s stripes represent the many layers it has taken to survive and live with confidence. Like the bumble bee, they are uplifted by their community and its resources, which is why events like Step Up for Ostomy are so important. The medicine of their community empowers so many. It felt right as a warrior to share and gift this powerful animal with the Ostomy community.”
Ostomy awareness is an important matter, and though the big day may happen once a year, we must continue taking action to eliminate the stigma and raise awareness and funds to support Ostomy Canada’s programming.