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Changing the stigma for young ostomates

Justan is a health coach and ostomy awareness extraordinaire. At just 30 years old, Justan has become the face & heart of the colostomy community. Endlessly crusading awareness of all things gut-related, Justan wants to transform how everyday Aussies think about their health and their colons.

And Justan knows a thing of two about colons. Sadly, at just two years old, Justan was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. With a string of serious operations (spanning most of his childhood), Justan’s spent more time in hospital wards than school playgrounds. By the time Justan was eight, doctors had surgically removed an abscess from his colon, the size of a golf ball.

Fast forward ten years, things were getting worse for Justan. Still in and out of hospital on a regular basis, Justan didn’t know what a normal adolescence was. Malnourished and in constant pain, Justan was even failing school. He eventually became so sick doctors had no choice but to put him on a heavy cocktail of drugs including Methotrexate – a chemotherapy immune suppressant for his colon.

Fast forward to 2009, doctors would then make the biggest incision of Justan’s life, a permanent hole in his stomach and the attachment of an ileostomy bag. It was a long road ahead for the 20 year old, however, Justan was determined not to let this ruin his chances of living a normal life.

Learning to walk, toilet and eat again, it’s been a HUGE journey. One that Justan has embraced with open arms and used as an opportunity to start again. To heal his body from the inside out. And endless nights in hospital wards and confined to his bedroom walls, Justan knew he had one option, to learn everything he could to heal his body.

From micronutrients, to optimal gut health, the importance of the liver and role of the mitochondria, Justan is obsessed with knowing the ins and outs of nutritional health and how the body works.

Now 30, Justan wants to use his journey to help inspire others to take control of their health. To learn to harness their minds and change their perceptions of what it means to be “healthy”.

But Justan’s most important mission? Changing the stigma for young Aussies living with colostomy bags.

“Colostomy bags are SEXY. And so is taking care of your health!”

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