Last week we were fortunately sent this humbling yet inspiring story that echoes what we are all about at Awestomy! Our new friend Luke’s story was shared by his mother Adrienne. Luke is from Plainfield, IN and is a tribute to believing in one’s self and not allowing the stigma of an ostomy to deter living life out loud.
Luke got his Crohn’s diagnosis when he was about 8 years old. Now 15, he has been hospitalized nearly every year since with some sort of complication. He is on all sorts of medications, and because he was so young at diagnosis, he is small for his age.
Last year he was a freshman at a new school and knew hardly any other kids there. And of course, it was the worst year yet for his disease!
So, let’s recap…inflammatory bowel disease that is causing him loose stool, bloody diarrhea, and constant pain combined with new school and being mistaken for a 4th grader. Terrible, right? Not for him. Kids right away started telling him he looked like that character, McLovin, from the movie Superbad. He’s too young to be allowed to see it, but he made up a fake Hawaiian student ID and went with it! Instant fame!
By the end of the school year his colon had had enough and he needed an emergency left hemicolectomy, and got a colostomy out of the deal. He spent the summer recovering (and growing…20 pounds in 3 months!), and came back to school with the same great attitude.
This week at school was Spirit Week, and one day the kids were to come to school dressed as a Super Hero. True to his fashion, Luke made his own costume: black cape, clean ostomy bag taped to his shirt and dirty one hanging out from his pants. ” Doo doo doo do…Bag Man!”. No one freaked out, he answered a lot of questions that day, and even spent part of geometry class explaining Crohn’s disease and colon surgery to the class (complete with whiteboard drawings and everything).
He is just such an inspiration to me and to a lot of people! Nothing fazes him, and he is just happy to be feeling healthy again, ostomy or not. And really, that’s what it’s all about…accepting yourself and rolling with the punches.
Luke & Adrienne, thank you for sharing your story. It truly filled us with pride and laughter. We would love to hear more inspirational stories from our ostomy community. Feel free to contact us and we’ll be sure to share your triumphs & tribulations. By encouraging others to share will provide others a sense of comfort.