This past weekend, Jason and I attended our second meeting of the Ostomy Support Group of Central Indiana. I know that Jason has written before about our 1st experience with this group before but this time we were attending as both vendors as well as members!
We had known about this meeting being a vendor fair for 2 months so it’s something we had been looking forward to and planning for sometime. It’s funny the small excitements that come from starting a business such as getting your 1st banner printed, business cards and brochures. Small things that excite the Graphic Designer in me. It makes me feel like we really doing something great with Awestomy.
I just can’t express how warm and welcoming this group is. They are all so sweet and supportive, which I guess is what the definition of a support group is… Each member of the group came over to our table and were so excited to see our progress over the past few months. We were able to show samples of our products, talk about Give A Sh*t, and represent Get Your Guts in Gear, the Gastronauts and The Ostomy Support Ribbon. I’ve said this before (and it sounds so silly) but, the power of the internet amazes me everyday. We are so lucky to have the support of these great causes ran by people we have never met in person but have inspired us and countless others through the power of the internet.
Also through the internet or divine intervention, we were able to meet Luke and his mom, Adrienne, at the most recent support meeting. For those of you that don’t know about Luke, the bagman, I refer you to our other blog posts about him. Even though we had emailed with him back and forth and seen pictures, there is no way how to describe how geeked out Jason and I were to actually meet him. We just whispered to each other, “Oh my gosh! It’s Luke! I’m so excited!”
Talk about inspiration, I have never seen two people more optimistic and upbeat in my entire life. As per usual at the support meeting, we all go around the circle with introductions and talk about ostomies/surgeries or if you’re like me, you just say caregiver or ‘Jason’s Lady’ as I like to be called. Luke was by far the youngest member of the support group at 15 and instantly, everyone was in love with him. He just spoke so confidently and proudly about having Crohn’s and his ostomy. It is even more clear to me now the correlation between having an ostomy and having a sense of humor. They go together like peas and carrots. Which is why these support meetings are always such a good time for everyone involved.
As much as I now adore Luke, I think the unsung hero of his family is probably his mom, Adrienne. I just think that she is amazing and inspiring. I hope I am as great as a mom as she is when that day comes. I have never seen a mom that is so proud of her son and truly believes he can do anything. Being a ‘caregiver’ I worry about Jason pretty regularly, defend myself with knowledge, humor, and unconditional love and hope for the best everyday. I guess it’s nice to know that this is how she approaches the role of being a caretaker as well.
After the support meeting, Jason and I began talking about what an inspiration they both were to us. After seeing the positive effect that Luke had on our small support group, we asked his mom if Luke could begin blogging for us. He has some great ideas about how to help people his age and older with their ostomies. She was excited about it and wrote this great note back to us which sums up how we feel about this amazing family…
…thank you for being so nice and welcoming to him (and us), and for telling him about the support group! I think seeing people dealing, living, and thriving with ostomies was awesome for him. He needs that, regardless of their ages. He had a really good time! We talked about how funny and open and sweet everyone was, and how he felt a kinship with them, which is one of the main reasons for joining a support group in the first place. Just a great experience all around, and we are looking forward to the next meeting!
Also, it was great meeting you guys! It was nice having a familiar face to look for, and Luke was surprised at how similar yours and his stories are. I think he thinks he found a new buddy:)
Thanks again for everything. You’ve been a great help in his recovery and adjustment and we appreciate all the things you’ve opened his eyes to with regards to support and success and acceptance. You’re awesome! Hope we can meet up again soon!