Ostomy care professionals Trio have launched a new campaign highlighting some of the great feats that have been achieved by ostomy users, including Trio Ostomate Rebecca Langley, who went from barely being able to walk a kilometre to completing her very first half marathon, and raising money for charity along the way.
Rebecca was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 19, but was unable to find any medical interventions that helped her live as fully as she would have liked. Unfortunately, at 30, she was diagnosed with bowel cancer, which left her with no option but to have stoma surgery. Rebecca’s whole colon was removed, and she was left with an ileostomy.
Despite the sickness and weight loss that followed, she wishes she’d opted for the surgery earlier. “In some ways I am grateful that the decision was taken out of my hands and although it is not always pleasant, life with a stoma is so much easier than life with colitis,” she said.
Rebecca’s journey to reach wellness was unfortunately not an easy one, and after the first of her 12 cycles of chemotherapy, she was rushed back into A&E having suffered a drug-induced seizure. 24-hours later, after being moved to the oncology ward, she unfortunately had a second seizure and a series of cardiac arrests, after which she was rushed into the intensive care unit.
After thankfully pulling through the worst of her treatment, Rebecca began her long recovery at home, and was desperate to get back into sports. Before her ileostomy, she was an avid runner, but after surgery, she was struggling to walk even a few hundred meters, as doing so would cause her significant pain.
Persevering, Rebecca began trying to walk a little more each time she went out, and in September 2017, she walked her first kilometre. Just two months later, she managed to jog the same distance. By Christmas, Rebecca could run six kilometres.
In September 2018, Rebecca ran her first ever half marathon, and in the process, she raised a fantastic £1000 for the Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity, with the money going to the intensive care unit. Since then, she has kept running and swimming once or twice a week, but has vowed never to run that far again!
Rebecca has found running with her stoma so much easier than when she used to run with her colitis, and uses a number of Trio products to help combat prospective issues that may arise when running with a stoma. To prevent hernias, she uses Vanilla Blush’s support wear; Trio’s Elisse Skin Barrier stops her bag slipping off when she sweats; Trio Silex flange extenders prevent the edges of her bag cutting into her; and Trio’s Elite adhesive remover spray helps her comfortably remove her ostomy bag post-exercise.
To learn more about Trio’s ostomy care products, visit trioostomycare.com, and to learn more about Rebecca’s incredible journey, you can buy her book Control, Alt, Delete: From Resus to Runner from lulu.com
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