A few posts back, I mentioned one of my hospital buddies, Jason. I met Jason when I was admitted to Mount Sinai for my first surgery last May. While recovering from surgery himself, Jason bought a copy of my book, which automatically makes him an amazing human being.
Jason is one tough motherfucker. His journey with ulcerative colitis has been far rockier than mine, and he’s had to endure over a dozen surgeries. Fuckin’ eh? And here I am being all whiny about being sliced open a mere two times. Jason had a pelvic pouch, like the one I have right now, but his didn’t work out and now he lives with a permanent ileostomy.
I haven’t spent too much time with Jason, but I know he tends to make the most out of shitty situations. When I was eventually released from hospital after the nearly month-long stay after my first surgery, Jason was still staring down several more weeks in hospital on a total parenteral nutrition (TPN) regimen, which meant all of his necessary nutrients and fluids were being administered through an IV. But Jason and his roommate Joe, another cool dude and J-pouch owner who I’m lucky to know, outfitted their room with a stereo, laptops, and a video projector that beamed movies onto a white sheet they tacked to the wall. Jason and Joe did what they could to endure a difficult time, and maybe even find a few fleeting moments of happiness amidst their bodily battles.
Jason now does a lot of work with Ostomy Toronto, and he seems to have found new purpose and drive in helping people with ostomies and educating those who don’t. He and his fellow ostomate, Jim, are about to embark on something pretty amazing – a 130-kilometre (80-mile) paddling marathon to help send kids with ostomies and similar needs to the United Ostomy Association of Canada’s youth camp. Both Jason and Jim know damn well how hard life can be, and they want to give kids who have struggled more in their young lives than many will in their entire lifetimes the chance to feel included, to strengthen their autonomy, and to show them that rich lives are within their grasp.
For more information on Jason and Jim’s adventure through the waters of Ontario’s cottage country, please like their Facebook page. You can make a contribution to their epic voyage and noble cause on their raisin Online Fundraising page.
I know there are lots of charities and lots of causes out there, and I know money’s tight for a lot of folks, but this is a pretty gallant endeavour form a couple of pretty incredible men, and it would be superfantastisch if you donated whatever is within your means right now.
Good luck Jason and Jim!