On behalf of all of us at Great Comebacks®, thank you for being a part of this special community of caring people. It has been a year full of important events for us. This fall, with the help of many wonderful WOC nurses, Great Comebacks® welcomed four regional award recipients into the GC family at events across the U.S. We were excited to celebrate the health and courage of our recipients, and to thank them for their desire and efforts to support others who face ostomy surgery. We were especially honored to have many past award recipients including Yvonne Austin, Linda Pasto, Bob Cuyler and Justin Blum join us for these events, demonstrating again their concern for others. Thank you all for making this year’s regional events so memorable.
Each of our 2011 regional award recipients is involved in inspiring efforts to help others, whether as caregivers, mentors or friends. Joanna Burgess was determined to become a WOCN as a result of her illness and is now working to launch an outpatient ostomy clinic at her hospital. Karen Lewis started her own race/walk event to support colon cancer research and continues to fundraise for intestinal disorders. Jenn Stahl is working with her WOCN to connect with ostomy patients and Randy Henniger volunteers as a mentor for people with colon cancer and speaks often at support groups about living with an ostomy.
Their stories are just a few examples of how this remarkable Great Comebacks® community of people is in reaching out and helping others. In this season of giving, I would like to acknowledge all of you for giving your time to help so many people in our community who need information or just a friend to listen. As someone who has been on the receiving end of so many encouraging phone calls and notes myself over the years, I can tell you that your efforts are deeply appreciated and are never forgotten by everyone you touch.
This year also marked the launch of our new online ostomy support group on Inspire.com. This site provides a personal connection between our community and people who may have questions or just want to chat about living with an ostomy. We hope that you will join us and become involved in Inspire.com as your experience can help so many people who are about to undergo ostomy surgery or who are adjusting to life with a stoma.
We have learned over the years that for so many people facing this important decision, hearing someone else’s success story can make all the difference. Thank you for sharing and for caring and know how much all of us at Great Comebacks® appreciate you. It is always humbling to speak with you, from the Comeback Kids on up, and to learn about your courage and perseverance. Remember, if there is ever anything I can do for you or for someone you know who is struggling, you can always reach me by sending a message though our new "Ask Rolf" button.
Thanks again for all you do! We can’t wait to welcome more new members to our Great Comebacks® family in 2012 and look forward to seeing you at some of our events throughout the year.
Wishing You a Happy and Healthy New Year!