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#auguts hard to talk about

Life is full of surprises. Life is not a return to normal. Life is not full of us who can apparently easily deal with a stoma.

Life is full of surprises. Life is not a return to normal. Life is not full of us who can apparently easily deal with a stoma. Good for people who can but let’s get realistic. The whole business can be messy, degrading, and at least partly limiting. Less than two years ago I had to have a permanent stoma. I named it after a colleague who was full of crap but once did me a massive favour. Loud farting was the first of many embarrassing events but not so funny are the occasional accidents – which shouldn’t happen but are common with having to wear a hernia belt. These aren’t funny especially if they happen somewhere difficult or at work. Cleaning up is usually not a problem but the smell and leakage are. Some foods and drinks are to be avoided – anything fizzy remains as such. Holidays are good – though insurance is difficult – and lacking in confidence means I wear special high waisted swimming trunks.

So in short I still struggle at times with my stoma but 18 months of experience has helped. If only it wasn’t for the damned hernia, the massive plastic surgery on my bum and a cancer spread to my lung all would be perfect.

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Explore the #auguts campaign 2023

#auguts stories

We’re highlighting topics that are difficult to talk about and research that’s hard to fund. Read and watch stories from bowel cancer and bowel disease patients and researchers.


I was born 8 weeks premature with Intestinal Malrotation. My understanding is they weren’t sure what was causing me the pain as a newborn, being premature too. When surgery was eventually done it was found my bowels had twisted. Corrective surgery was done. I was christened in the hospital as it wasn’t looking great.

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I have diverticular disease on the right side of my body and I believe only a few people have it on this side.

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Frank McDermott

Mr Frank McDermott is a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and Cancer lead for the Genomics Medicine Service Alliance in Southwest England. His grant with Bowel Research UK why some patients with diverticulitis experience serious complications such as blood infection, while others have milder disease. 

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Share your #auguts story

Join the #auguts campaign by sharing your own story via video or the written word! We are looking for videos and stories about difficult conversations people have had about their bowel condition, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, or anything else related. Our Patient and Public Involvement Manager Sam Alexandra Rose has created her own video as an example, which you can see below to give you some ideas.

Your video or written story will appear on our website and be shared on our social media channels. Please include your social media handles if you feel comfortable with us tagging you when we share your story. Videos may be edited slightly, for example by adding captions or putting several videos together, or adding our logo. Take a look at this guide for some tips on filming video on your phone. If you have any questions, email sam@bowelresearchuk.org.

    Please use the field below to attach your story as a word document or video as well as accompanying photos

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    Find out more about #auguts 2023

    We brought some of our patients, researchers and our CEO together to talk about what makes bowel disease hard to talk about and hard to fund. Watch them share their stories and join the campaign.

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