Many of you already know my story. Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2010, failed treatments and things in between, had my large intestines removed at the end of 2014, temporary Ostomy from Dec 2014 – Mid 2015.
If you want to know more about my story click here
Moving forward, if you’ve ever had an Ostomy or are the caregiver of someone with an Ostomy, you know that supplies are not cheap. I was blessed with insurance that covered most, if not all costs for my things like bags, tape, glue and even some extra things like panties and belts. Unfortunately, not everyone with an Ostomy (will) experience the luxury I once had.
While my Ostomy experience was only temporary, there are many people in this world living with a permanent Ostomy, and in life, whether your Ostomy is temporary or permenate, I think anyone living with any kind of illness can attest to the statement: life doesn’t always go as planned.
Im in many groups on Facebook for IBD, Ostomies, Ulcerative Colitis, Spoonies, the list goes on. I try to keep up with all of them as best I can. Recently, something popped up on my timeline that really bothered me; someone in the group needed supplies and because they are uninsured, were not able to pay (full) retail cost (as it can quickly add up). This bothered me because once you have an Ostomy, you need your supplies. Not having a wafer, tape or even a bag when needed is not like forgetting your TOM and borrowing a pad from the nearest coworker. – Although that situation can be somewhat of a hassle itself. Not having your supplies is not having your daily essentials to live a normal life and it’s not so easy to find a neighbor with the supplies you need.
With that being said, I wanted to make a list, something like a “Go To” for people with ostomies, in case you run into unexpected circumstances and don’t have access to the products you need. Please refer to the companies / businesses below.
This post is NOT sponsored and I am not affiliated with any of these companies in any way.
- Osto-Group – this company helps provide supplies for people who have run into hard times. It says directly on their website “no one will ever be turned away.” NOTE: You will pay for shipping and handling.
- Ostomy 2-1-1 – they offer a few different benefits with an option to have a paid membership as well. On emergency basis, they do serve as an Ostomy supply pantry as well. So they can continue to offer their amazing services remember to donate 💜
- ConvaTech – has a patient assistance program, they do have rules to qualify and you’re only able to get one 3-month supper every 12 months.
- Friends of Ostomates Worldwide – help with providing supplies to people in need free of charge. Based in the US but will accept requests outside as well.
- Nu-Hope – serving the US and Canada, sends samples to ostomates.
- Friends of Man – offers specialized programs to help people with certain healthcare needs.
- Bag It Away – providing free samples by request of US residents only.
- Clini Med – offering free samples to residents of the U.K.
- Liberator Medical – free samples of major brands.
- Jacob’s Well Appeal – works with different countries to provide a slew of different services, including medical aid and supplies.
- Ostomy EZ Clean – provides free samples of their supplies.
Other advice: The first (and second) place I received supplies from were local medical facilities. The nurses at the hospital where I had surgery provided me with my first batch and during my follow up appointment with my surgeon I received my second. He saw my bag was worn and had his nurse to supply me with a slew of other things I needed – point being, if worse comes to worse I would check my local clinics
Also, major manufacturers like Coloplast and Hollister do offer free samples directly through their company.
I hope this helps someone 💜 Spread the word to another ostomate.