I have had Ulcerative Colitis for over ten years now, and when my health took a real turn for the worse last year and I was facing surgery, I scoured the internet for support and help. There were a lot of medical websites with confusing terminology and terrifying pictures and there were forums dedicated to IBD patients, but I found these difficult to interact with and like they had no relevance to my life.
I found one amazing blog called Inflamed and Untamed run by the ever inspiring Sara Ringer, her blog was the thing that inspired me to start So Bad Ass. She was young and happy to talk honesty about her health, I fell in love with her blog and still follow her now. But as she is based in the US I found some of what she spoke about just not right for the UK.
Over a year later I am so proud of what I have achieved here. I get thousands and thousands of people a week reading my little blog and so many emails and messages both of support and asking for my help or telling me that this site makes a difference.
I have spoken at International Women’s Day and been booked to do talks at Women’s Institute events and hospital charity events. I have written for charities, blogs and magazines. I am devoting myself to raising awareness off Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohns, ileostomies, colostomies and j pouches! But more than that, I want to use my experiences to help women deal with issues around self esteem, body confidence and learning to be so bad ass and awesome.
Over the past couple of weeks there have been so much media attention given to ileostomies and it is amazing!!! It is the reason that I journaled my experience and have shown my photographs for the last year. I think the more we see ileostomy and colostomy bags, the less taboo, the less scary and the less shocking they become.
Im so proud of my IBD brothers and sisters for sharing the stories and photographs and getting IBD into mainstream media. I did a story last year about how frustrating I was finding it to be hitting a brick wall when contacting (A LOT) of newspapers, magazines and media outlets and being turned away. So to finally see stories and images hitting the headlines I am over the moon.
I just wanted to thank all my readers for staying with me on this journey, for reading, liking, sharing and tweeting. I can’t tell you how much it means to know that I have amazing audience who support this blog and share it all over the world.
It may take more time, but slowly and surely the message is getting out there. I hope this blog and all the other blogs that are appearing now continue to raise awareness, spread a positive message and make a difference to the 260,000 people in the UK living with these diseases.
Hooray for us!!!
Love Sam xxx