(Photo: Bethany Townsend)
Bethany Townsend has had Crohn's Disease since the age of 3. When she was 11, she had 16 inches of her intestines taken out. 4 years ago, her intestines ruptured. She had an MRSA infection that almost killed her.
Now Townsend has to wear two colostomy bags. Her stool collects in these bags, which she must regularly empty and clean.
Some people who have had colostomies prefer to hide their medical appliances. They feel embarrassed by them. But Townsend is not one of those people. She explains that "Finally after three and a half years, I decided that my colostomy bags shouldn't control my life."
This past December, she took a vacation in Mexico with her husband. She didn't wear a bulky suit which concealed her colostomy bags, but a bikini. Her husband took a photo and posted it on Facebook. It's gone viral and encouraged other people to stop feeling embarrassed about their colostomies.