We have had a few messages from parents asking us to make products for children with an ostomy (can you think of anything cuter?). These ideas are definitely in the works for us at Awestomy but in the mean time we are excited to give back through our Give A Sh*t program to our friends The Gastronauts! Throughout the month of January we will be donating 15% of sales to aid in the manufacturing and distribution of these little bundles of joy!
What are The Gastronauts you may ask?
The Gastronauts are a group of puppets with the same gifts and failings as their human counterparts. These puppets are free for children with an ostomy. Our gallant team is united by a common problem: each is an ostomate and has a stoma. They gather together to help resolve any difficulty that each may face. Their aim is to bring understanding, fun and imagination into the lives of youngsters to help them overcome the fears and anxieties illness may incur.
A Gastronaut will be a friend to whom a child with an ostomy can talk and someone to hold on to in unfamiliar surroundings: hospitals, doctors offices, MRI equipment etc. They can be used as a communication tool between a child and an adult, particularly when talking to strangers—medical staff, new teachers etc. A constant, little friend in time of need. The Gastronauts are not superheroes, although their gifts have been slightly exaggerated—we are, after all entering the wonderful world of a child’s imagination. The Gastronauts (Simon, Sally, Max and/or Lucy) can go everywhere with the child and can be sterilized in the microwave if a hospital visit in needed. (Instructions are included.) The puppets help them know that as an ostomate “I can do anything” like others. They also help the young ostomate “show and tell” others all about their ostomy.
In the U.S., the majority of the funding is done by the Phoenix Magazine of the UOAA and administered by Janet McNiven, the official U.S. representative. If you are interested in receiving a Gastronaut puppet as a patient or colorectal staff etc., please contact Janet at either firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-338-5675 and she will be happy to arrange for the Gastronaut of your choice. Check out all the Gastronauts at:
Janet was nice enough to send us Sally and Simon! Over the next month we’ll see what mischief they can get into in Indianapolis, Indiana! Be sure to follow their adventure on facebook!