Danielle Gulden and Joe Teeters are IBD warriors and permanent ileostomates. They’re comedians, speakers, advocates and Two Best Friends without Buttholes! Danielle has had ulcerative colitis (UC) for over 27 years. After going through nearly every IBD medication available, going to the bathroom 20-25 times per day, and having a toilet installed in her car (this is not a joke, folks!), she finally kicked her diseased colon to the curb in 2007. Her ostomy (and her stoma named Stella) saved her life and gave her back her life! Joe has also been living with Crohn’s disease for over 27 years. Like Danielle, he has run the gamut of medical treatments and medications. He has had a total of four intestinal surgeries, including two resections. In 2012, he underwent a total proctocolectomy with end ileostomy. That surgery landed him a spot alongside Danielle in the “Barbie Butt” Club! What’s that, you ask? Two cheeks, no hole, that butt is just for show! Danielle and Joe use their humor, wisdom, and stories to connect with and support other people living with ostomies and inflammatory bowel disease. They believe in the power of humor, advocacy and awareness!
Key links mentioned in this episode:
Carter’s — For Newborn Baby Onesies (a great cover for high-output ostomies!)
Tune in as Joe & Danielle share:
- that they were winners of “Hilarious Patient Leaders” at the WEGO Health Awards 2019
- that Danielle changed majors because of her ill health, and wasn’t diagnosed with UC until she was 22
- that getting a diagnosis was a relief, and gave Danielle a plan of action
- that Joe had appendicitis at 14, and believes this was the first flare of his Crohn’s disease
- that like Danielle, Joe wasn’t diagnosed until he was a young adult
- that Joe’s diagnosis took 1 year to ascertain, and Danielle’s took 6 years
- why Joe and Danielle both ended up with ileostomies
- all about Danielle’s car toilet
- what “Ostomy Bombing” is, and why they do it
- how they met
- that there are local support groups available through the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, as well as the United Ostomy Association
- their work speaking to legislators and creating policy change in favor of patients
- the importance of clinical trials to advance treatment options for IBD and other chronic illnesses
- Joe’s favorite ostomy cover — Carter’s newborn baby onesies
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