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Jo Hunt ®

- UK

Hi, my name is Jo, I’m 50 and I live in South Wales with my four dogs and two cats, who are my heartbeats. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was 4 years old and I have had an ileostomy since I was 26. Having a stoma is simply a different way to go to the loo! Once you adjust there are no limitations. Life is what you make it.

 

"I joined the Advocate team to help others adjust to living with a stoma, especially people who are LGBT, as I have never seen any groups that support this section of the community. I am also passionate about supporting the deaf community by making information and resources available to them too. I lived in splendid isolation, never knowingly meeting anyone with a stoma until I came across the Ostomy Lifestyle Athletes group on Facebook. I then took part in the Amcare Group Body Image film project and from there joined the Advocate team." - the Amcare Group Body Image film series are available exclusively to me+™ members.

I love spending time with my dogs walking on the beach. I volunteer for UK-GSR Angels which is a charity that rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes German Shepherd Dogs. I also enjoy caravanning, reading, swimming, cooking, gardening and spending time with my family and friends."

Jo Hunt was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when she was just 4 years old. She lived with the illness for 16 years before having a total colectomy with an ileo-rectal anastomosis and then went on to have a permanent ileostomy created at the age of 26. Jo describes herself as fairly solitary and didn’t knowingly speak to anyone else with a stoma until 2013 when she joined a Facebook support group (Ostomy Lifestyle Athletes) and found “it was just good to be able to speak candidly to people who completely understood where I was coming from.”

"I love spending time with my dogs walking on the beach. I volunteer for UK-GSR Angels which is a charity that rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes German Shepherd Dogs."

Jo says she gained strength and confidence from the friendships she has made via the group and has since “come out of the ostomy closet” by taking part in the Amcare Body Image film project and joining the Advocate team. “As an Advocate my role is to speak about my experiences with a stoma in the hope it will help people facing surgery to know that you can live a full life without limits.”

Although it has been hard for Jo to talk publically about herself she says “If I can help just one person come to terms with living with a stoma then everything I have been through, including my extreme discomfort at being videoed and public speaking, will have been worth it.”

Jo lives in South Wales with her beloved 4 dogs and 2 cats and enjoys nothing more than taking walks on the beach with her 4 legged companions and then relaxing with a good book and a big jug of tea.

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