Maria Adaway was born with a dual rectum which she had surgery at just 5 weeks old to correct. Unfortunately things did not go to plan and she had to have another, life-saving operation shortly after and then suffered many years of incontinence and embarrassing situations throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. An unsuccessful sphincter repair operation in 2000 ultimately lead to Maria deciding to have a permanent colostomy formed in 2004. Maria says “Life has been good since then. After the initial adjustment and coming to terms with it, having a stoma has made life much easier for me.”
Maria puts much of her positive attitude towards everything she has been through down to the support of her husband and family. “My husband, Mike, has even helped me pack wounds in my bottom, which was horrible and traumatic but he supported me throughout this time when my self-esteem was low.” Maria’s personal belief is that “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” And she has certainly shown her strength in recent years. Alongside working full-time Maria set herself a series of physical challenges in the lead up to her 50th birthday. “I trained for and completed 11 runs, 1 obstacle course race, 2 bike rides and 1 long walk (and had a secret go on the monkey bars in the park!)”
Maria is living proof of her message – “I would like to help people feel that it’s not the end of the world to have an ileostomy or colostomy, and to show that you can do whatever you want.”
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