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I Share My Health Story Because Early Detection Can Save a Life, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

28 Feb

Over 23 years ago I was diagnosed with Colon/Rectum Cancer.  What started as a simple polyp, turned out to be cancer, and was later removed , leaving me with an irreversible colostomy which eventually lead to an ileostomy. My doctor told me if I would have only come to him when the symptoms first occurred he could have removed the polyp and we would have avoided all the rest. That’s why I decided to start this blog, to advocate for early testing and prevention. Another passion of mine is a helping people and organizations in the ostomate community.


Call to Action for Ostomates Nationwide
When I discovered the Osto Group, a non-profit organization, I was amazed that there is  a group like this helping people who experience financial strains to continue to order their medical supplies. Through my blogging and outreach ministry, I have come across a number of people sharing what they are doing daily without ostomy supplies, since they can no longer afford to buy them having lost a job or medical insurance. One person shared, “When we lost insurance coverage, we felt we were lost. Also, there isn’t an extra $200/mo. in our budget. I haven’t been able to find any meaningful employment for more than 12 months.” These unfortunate ones actually use common household supplies and tape in place of ostomy supplies!  That sounds bad, doesn’t it? Well this is reality for some. (summarized from a testimonial letter written to Osto Group).

The women running this group are so dedicated to helping others in need. They have been serving patients Nationwide in the ostomate community since May, 2008; providing ostomy supplies to for those who do not have medical insurance or their insurance doesn’t cover their supplies. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to get better acquainted by speaking with three wonderful women that run this non-profit group. They’ve shared with us that while they’ve never advertised or self-promoted, never have they been at a loss for donations or patient’s in need. I was so touched by their efforts that I am compelled to share, and hopefully spread more awareness about all that their doing to help others. 

While financial contributions are always welcomed, the Osto Group also accepts ostomy supplies from patients for which they no longer have a need.   877-678-6690  



Ostomy Donations: Osto Group, 15070 Corporate Rd. N., Jupiter, FL 33478
Financial Donations to their corporate office: Osto Group, 4521 PGA Blvd #228, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418-3997 P: 877-678-6690. Since the Osto Group is a 501(c)(3) organization they will provide a receipt for each donation for tax purposes.  

Osto Group Testimonials

·        Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 11:41 PM Subject: [General Information] Thank you! Hello,I am a new customer who has insurance, but my insurance does not cover ostomy supplies. I just wanted to say thank you so much for what you are doing. I am 26 years old with an ostomy, and my husband and I have a 10 month old son. Due to health problems I had not worked in 3 years and just recently went back to work part time. Obviously we have a very tight budget, and when I found out about you guys I praised the Lord, because He has used you to meet my needs! Ostomy supplies are SO expensive, especially when you pay out of pocket. If I ever get this ostomy reversed I will donate any left over supplies to you guys. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.Sincerely, Kimberly Long

  • Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 12:53 PMSubject: Thank You Thank you for your prompt delivery of the Adapt Barrier Rings I ordered recently.  This was my first order since having Ostomy surgery.  I am very thankful for the assistance you provide to myself and others who have fallen on hard times.  It is difficult to find words to show my gratitude for your help in obtaining affordable supplies that I must have to function since my surgery.  Regards, Greg Click 
  • Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 10:26 AMSubject: [General Information] thank you I wanted to write a note saying THANK YOU for helping me with my medical supplies. I can’t begin to tell you how it feels to finally get some sort of help. I am going to be able to change my ostomy wafers etc. and take care of my stoma when I need to thanks to you kind people. My words are not able to convy the grattitude I have for your fine group but I had to at least attempt to let you know how valuable and desperately needed your assistance can be to someone doing daily battle with Crohn’s Disease.yours truly,kenny Lucano
  • Sent: Monday, January 31, 2011 4:18 PMSubject: Testimonial I just wanted to say thank you for Osto Group! I was recently laid off from my job and I am still not working. Buying ostomy supplies are  a very expensive but necessary expense. I am extremly thankful that I can order my supplies thru Osto Group at a much lower price but and continue to use the same products just at a lower cost. I placed an order on Thursday and I received it on Monday! Again, I am very thankful for Osto Group and hope you will always be around to help us ostomy users! 
  • Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 12:09 PMSubject: Testimonials I had ileostomy surgery about five years ago.  I had insurance to cover the cost but was unable to continue the coverage shortly afterward.  Trying to pay full price for all the supplies was very expensive and stressful. I was given information about Osto Group by the supply company and found the items that I require at a drastically reduced price.  My husband recently lost his job and insurance coverage is not an option any time soon. If I need to buy my supplies at full cost, there will be other needed expenses that will have to be sacrificed. Through Osto Group and their donations my supply expense is more manageable and less stressful.  Thank you for all you do to continue to provide this service.Heidi Tobash 
  • Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 7:44 PMSubject: [General Information] Thank YouI would like to say thank you to the people at Osto Group and all those whodonate the supplies.Without your help I don’t know what I would do after all colostomy supplies are not something that you can do without or reuse. I don’t have any insurance, I receive a very small SS check and right now I can not work and my husband has been laid off. We are both over 60 and live in rural area of Louisiana so Jobs are few and far between. Therefor without your help I would be in a real pickle. Again let me say Thank YouNancy
  • Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 9:09 PMSubject: [General Information] note of thanksi just want to say thank you so much. you all are a blessing and a god send; without you and your help i would have had to use the same bags over and over and sometimes i would have to stay in the house with a towel over my stoma cause i didnt have any supplies and when i asked for help from my state they always turned me down i even lost my job cause i did not have any supplies but thanks to your program i have no more worries about where im going to get my next shipment of supplies and when i get back on my feet and find a job i am going to help you so you can keep up the good work of helping other people thank you from the bottom of my heart and god bless all of you. 
  • Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 1:33 PMrhwoody sent a message using the contact form atI truly appreciate everything you are doing to help people with needs. I am so grateful I found your website and you have the supplies I need. It is taking a great deal of stress off my shoulders.Thank you very very much.Richard
  • Sent: Monday, January 31, 2011 6:08 PMTo Whom It May Concern: I am a 50 year old woman who had worked full time from the age of 17 until I turned 48. I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease while in my early 20’s. For the first 3-4 years my Crohn’s was in remission after a brief treatment regimen. Then I was in an auto accident and ever since that time my Crohn’s has been very active and for the most part non responsive to treatments that were available. Despite all of the surgeries that I have been through I continued to work and always had health insurance. Then I lost my job due to a declining economy and was all of a sudden an uninsured American. I began developing hernias and have had to undergo 18 hernia surgeries in the last 3.5 years. With no insurance I am responsible for all of those medical bills and I expect I will be paying until the day I pass. Through friends and family  I became aware of the Osto Group. I can tell you that I have been blessed by finding this group and being able to order my Ostomy supplies from them. The entire staff is always professional and they don’t judge me or assume that I am just someone who doesn’t want to work. I would otherwise have to choose between medical supplies and food. Ordering from them keeps me from having to make this decision. Unfortunately, in this country you have to be out of work for 2.5 years before you can get medicare if you are under a certain age (and provided you have been approved for Disb in the first place ) and on the flip side most insurance companies have pre-existing clauses and premiums that people in my situation usually cannot afford and so we go without insurance. The ladies at Osto Group provide a service that is vital to those of us cannot get help anywhere else. Every month when I order my supplies I hang up the phone thanking God for allowing me to find  the Osto Group. I truly do not know what I would do without them and I know that eventually I will get my medicare and will have to stop using their services but I can promise you this: there will be plenty of people behind me who be as blessed to have their services available as I have been. I would like to add a personal thank you to Barbara and her entire staff for being so wonderful to me. You ladies are like guardian angels and we could use a lot more of you in this world. Respectfully, Bette SmithEllendale, DE
  •  Sent: Friday, February 18, 2011 6:29 PM Subject: A blessingIn 2003 I had surgery for colon cancer and it left me with a colostomy. Two attempted re-sections failed and I was thankful to have health insurance at that time to pay for the needed supplies.  In 2008 my job played out and I was left without steady income and no health insurance. I contacted the major suppliers and manufacturers of ostomy products and they all told me they gave reduced rates for those with no health insurance but I was with almost no income at all and could not even afford that. At that time I was buying a wafer at a time from a medical supply store that was willing to work with me and washing out pouches and re-using them over and over again. Finally, I contacted Hollister yet again and they told me about Ostogroup. Since ordering from Ostogroup I have had greater peace of mind because they offer items at prices I can afford. I am very thankful for this venue for helping those who have need of ostomy supplies.I believe in what Ostogroup is doing. I have contributed unneeded supplies to their organization. I wanted to bless others the way Ostogroup has blessed me.Thank you. C. Wendell Ross
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