Kaitlyn O'Brien

Ostomy camp participant and Long distance runner.


Age: 16

Type of Ostomy:

  • Cecostomy
  • Colostomy(reserved)
  • Monti

Years with Ostomy:

  • Cecostomy: 7 years
  • Colostomy: 3 years
  • Monti: 7years

About Kaitlyn

Are you an Ostomy Toronto Trained Visitor?

I am not a trained visitor or part of Ostomy Toronto's Visiting Program. I would be interested in becoming a trained visitor!

How active are you, living with an ostomy?

Living with ostomies has changed my life in many ways. Not only has it allowed me to participate in Easter seals camp Horizon(where I participate in various activities like white water rafting, rock wall climbing, a giant swing, swimming and many more) but it has let me live life to its full capacity. I am a ballet dancer, I run cross country, and do long distance running for my school track and field team and just recently started to cycle with my family. I also love to down hill ski hang out with my friends and just be a “normal” teenager!

How have Ostomy Toronto’s members or services assisted you to manage your ostomy?

Ostomy Toronto has helped me by being a wonderful support team and providing funds which enable me to go to camp horizon. Knowing that they are there and we all represent together makes me feel safe. I also know that there are many support groups in place if I ever need it. I am also glad that Ostomy Toronto is using all the new forms of communication to keep us all connected.

What advice would you give someone who is about to have, has just had, or is struggling with an ostomy? What advice would give their family/caregivers?

My advice for other patients: It’s difficult at the beginning but once you get the hang of it, it’s a life changing surgery you will never regret. Uncover your ostomy/ostomies. BE PROUD of what you have gone through…you are BRAVE!

BELIEVE in yourself and believe you will get better. Tell your friends…don’t be ashamed. They will support you and you have some one when you need them. Live your life finally! My advice for parents: What we are going through is really hard…we are trying to be brave. We are worried it isn’t going to work, we feel different and look different…do you think people will be mean to us? We appreciate all your love and support even though we have probably been mean to you.