World Ostomy Day Symposium

Following lunch and a return to the hotel venue we were joined by 7 Hong Kong Ostomates and their executive secretary and a 2 hour meeting was held where each ostomate's personal experiences were shared and this was a wonderful 2 hours where a stranger group formed close bonds. On Saturday a further large group of more than 20 ostomates from Guangzhou arrived along with Drs and Nurses from the key cities and nurses (ET's) from across China to make up a group of 180 at the WOD Symposium which was sponsored by Coloplast and directed by the oncology division of the Chinese Medical Association. A map of China gave the opportunity for each participant to paste a rose on the city they had come from and you can see by the map.

The object of the day was to create a video depicting ostomates being supported by those present and able to lead a normal life (An Ostomy Life Video).

Doctors and ET's and ostomates present from the 5 cities stoma clubs and Hong Kong delivered addresses about their development and gave relevant addresses re surgery and ostomy care in their areas.

I was able to address the group about the new structure of IOA and on information about World Ostomy Day, its purposes, the theme of "Let's Be Heard" and the opportunities to enter the Coloplast Merit Award and the Hollister photo competition.

The conclusion of the day was moving with ostomates, ET's and surgeons and ostomates' being presented with bunches of roses which were then put into a heart model on stage. All present had an opportunity to place a rose.

The symbolism of all parties working together was a recurrent theme throughout the day. We look forward to the World Ostomy Day Video.

At the conclusion of the symposium a most enjoyable visit was made to the impressive Coloplast appliance manufacturing plant in Zhuhai and in the evening a relaxing evening with dinner and entertainment were held in the garden bar of the Grand Bay View Hotel. There emerged singing talent from among the ostomates and ET's present.

As a final comment, I have to say, the work done to support ostomates by all parties that were present is impressive, humbling and expanding.

Barry Maughan
IOA Chairperson, ASPOA President

Blood, poop and tears ... and rising above it.

I say this with the utmost respect. The fact that you put yourself out there and talk about a lot of taboo issues with humour and intelligence is wonderful and inspiring. I personally believe that part of healing is not being mentally consumed by a condition. Clearly you are taking control OVER the disease as much as you can but still, I have to wonder if you can move post ibd, cancer and other significant cases. MANY people have their own issues too. I have several very close family members who have been near death and clawed their way back. I would do my best to think of myself as healthy and well and not diseased and uncured. (Anonymous)