YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Close to one million Americans suffer from Crohn's, one of the most common inflammatory bowel diseases.
Because there is no cure for the chronic condition, as many as 75% of patients undergo ostomy surgery. Ostomies are surgically created openings that allow for waste to leave the body.
Advocate Kristin Knipp underwent ostomy surgery at age 15 after being diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age nine. She visited Youngstown Tuesday to speak with other patients who've gone through the same thing.
"I always tell people who've undergone ostomy surgery; the only thing about you that has changed is the way you go to the bathroom. You are still the same individual that you were created to be. You still have all the hopes and dreams that are within side you and you can still achieve all of them," Knipp said.
Knipp has served as an advocate in the ostomy community for more than 15 years. She even served as president of the national organization.
Currently, she works for Ostomysecrets, a company that makes undergarments for people who've undergone ostomy surgery.
If you would like to learn more visit www.ostomysecrets.com.