Your location is set to Dartford
Published: 08:00, 18 May 2017 |
Updated: 08:39, 18 May 2017
A woman who fought back from a life-changing illness has proudly bared herself and her ostomy bag to the nation.
Shelley Lawes, of Bluebell Close, Thistle Hill, Minster, was diagnosed with the bowel disease ulcerative colitis 11 years ago. It’s a painful condition affecting the colon and rectum.
In 2015 she had surgery to have both removed to create a stoma, a stomach opening which bypasses the bowel.
Since then the mum-of-two, who runs a support group on the Island, has modelled for a specialist underwear manufacturer called Vanilla Blush but when The Sun newspaper decided to recreate a photoshoot of ITV’s Loose Women in their underwear and bikinis featuring inspirational women dealing with disease and illness, she jumped at the chance.
Miss Lawes, known as Shell, featured alongside a woman who had a heart transplant, another with abdominal cancer and one lady had the skin condition vitiligo.
She said: “The photocall was amazing, a real dream come true and the best bit was lining up for the big group shot. It really is one of the best ways to raise awareness.”
The 33-year-old’s mission is to break down the barriers around having an ostomy bag and ensure people understand all the treatment options available.
“I sometimes see people scared to make any decision and living with pain for several years.
“A lot of younger people are very accepting of me and the bag, but I notice among the older generation find it difficult talking about such things.
“How hospital staff treat you also has a lot to do with it. I have seen a look of disgust on the faces of some nurses.”
She now runs the Sheppey Ostomy and IBD Group, which she set up after noticing a lack of information about her condition. She also works with the Colostomy Association.
To find out more about her visit Facebook and search stoma in a teacup and to see her take part in The Sun's article, click here
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
This is a brand new online resource covering every aspect of owning and improving a home in Kent and Medway.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Neil Miller, Hever Castle head gardener is new gardening blogger.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.