Hello from a HOT and HUMID Pennsylvania! As most of you know from my other emails, I am Jason Cesari, and the current UOAA, ASG Advisory Board Chair. We are currently working on several projects, and continue to develop new ones. Our latest project is going to require a little assistance from all the ASG members out there. In this email I will break down what the project is and how you guys and gals can help!
As many of us know, having an Ostomy can be an overwhelming experience - especially at first. One of the questions people wonder about is whether or not they will be able to continue to work at their present jobs, or if there are products available to help them at work. For example, I am a State Trooper, and I wear an ostomy guard that protects my stoma from my 25+ pound gun belt, and would also help protect my stoma against a direct hit if I were involved in a scuffle with the bad guys. The stress of the operation and the unknown is tough enough without adding on the "what if's" and uncertainty about being able to work. Having the UOAA Family is something that has helped me so much in returning back to a normal life (I realize it's hard for those who know me to think of me as normal ha-ha), and being able to talk to other members and "pick their brains" has helped me get right back into the flow of life. We are lucky to have a lot of ASG members with a wide variety of vocational backgrounds, and who bring with them their real-life experiences in pursuing their career goals while living with an ostomy. THIS IS WHERE YOU GUYS AND GALS COME IN!!!
The Advisory Board is compiling a data base of information which all current, new and any other Ostomy members can access. This Data Base will be available for every ASG Leader and all members of our groups. ASG Leaders will have this information (still working on how to get this to you folks, but one way may be to include this in our other project "ASG IN A BOX", or to email it to all the leaders).
So what information are we looking for? Let me first say that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS and WE DO NOT WANT MAKE PEOPLE ASSIST IF THEY DON'T WANT TO. THIS IS A 100% Volunteer PROJECT! What we hope to do is to compile a data base of members who want to share their experiences regarding how they continued to work, and adjusted to their employment after their operations!
We are asking all of our ASG Leaders to use their next few meetings as an opportunity to see if they have any members who are willing to share their experiences and/or knowledge of helpful products or tips with others, and perhaps to help guide them back into the work force or help them to adjust to the job they are returning to.
So here is what the Advisory Board is looking for:
1. We need to know what your members do for a living, or did for a living. We are not looking for any other details about their job other than what it is.
2. We need to know if the members are willing to be listed on this National UOAA Data Base, and to be contacted by current or new ASG members, or members of the UOAA seeking help in adjusting back to life and work.
a. If they are interested how can they be contacted?
i. Email (would need their email)
ii. Phone calls (would need their phone numbers)
iii.Location Where the current Member lives/Works and what group they
Your E-Mail Address: _____________________________________________________
Home Phone #: ______-________-________ Cell Number: ______-_______-_________
City: State: Zip Code:
*** Please note if the member would prefer not to be contacted by phone, and would rather be contacted by email only. Members do not need to give any information they are uncomfortable sharing.
*** Once we start receiving this information I will work on the data base and get it to Joan. The great thing about this data base is: WE CAN ADD OR REMOVE MEMBERS FROM IT AT ANY TIME, SO IF SOMEONE WANTS TO BEGIN OR END THEIR PARTICIPATION, IT IS VERY SIMPLE TO DO!
So, the task we are asking of our ASG Leaders is to inform the members of this project at your next few meetings, and to ask those interested to provide the information requested above. Please keep a running list (you can make a simple form up and pass it around at the start of meeting or leave it on a desk, and let them know at anytime they can fill it out). As members start to sign up please email the information to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can process them as they come in.
I know the help I received from members of the UOAA had a huge part in my getting back to work, and adjusting to life with my Ostomy, and I hope this project will help a lot of others!
Thank you for your time reading this long email and I really hope this project takes off!
UOAA Advisory Board Chair
UOAA 30+ Network Committee MemberUOAA Luzerne County Ostomy Support Group ASG Leader
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