Well, my story is like many others. At the age of 17 I was diagnosed with UC. I took various medications and was able to keep it under control for several years. However by September of 1991, it was no longer responsive to medication and I had a Brooke ileostomy. I was 31 years old and married with two children. My son had started playing baseball and wanted me to help coach his team. (I wanted to coach, too.) There were some things that were not as easy to do with an ostomy, but you can't let it keep you from going and doing to the best of your new physical limitations and abilities.
About six months after surgery, I saw an ad in the Parade magazine with a picture of a female in gym clothes with a caption that read, "I have an ostomy but I don't wear an appliance." It sure got my attention. My wife and I decided this looked very interesting and something we needed to check out. We made a few phone calls and set up an appointment with Dr. Rehnke. After our visit we decided the BCIR would be a great alternative for my condition and an increase in not just my quality of life but also the quality of life for my entire family
Dr. Renhke performed my BCIR surgery in August of 1994. Life has been just wonderful ever since. Our quality of life couldn't be better. If I had not had my BCIR surgery there are many things that my family and I would not have enjoyed. The BCIR has allowed me to participate in volunteer activities with my children such as baseball, school activities and music trips. We go camping, canoeing, boating, fishing, bike riding, take family cruises, go to the beach and actually get in the water not just sit in the sand.
I am so grateful for people like Dr. Rehnke, Dr. Pollack, Susan Kay, Velma Bragg and all the hospital staff for their dedication to the BCIR procedure. The Brooke ileostomy allowed me to live but the BCIR gave me LIFE.