Thursday, April 25, 2013

FREE GASTRONAUT PUPPET to any Canadian Child-Ostomate

Gastronauts Canada
Who are the Gastronauts?      
Gastronauts are puppets-with-ostomies, created to help child-ostomates
to understand and become comfortable with their own ostomies.
Over 4000 child-ostomates world-wide have received their own Gastronaut,
to help them recover from surgery and to adjust to their new ostomy lifestyle.

Ostomy Nurses and Doctors use Gastronauts 
to explain to children about their own ostomies,
or about their parent's or grandparent's ostomies.
Other Gastronauts, like Hogus, do adventure travel
with an adult ostomate, and share what they learn
with child-ostomates around the world
... showing child-ostomates that they are not alone
and they can live ordinary (even extraordinary) lives


Canadian Chapters who may donate Puppets
A growing number of ostomy associations are recognizing these puppets as a worthy cause. They raise their own funds, buy puppets, and donate them to child ostomates in their areas.

BC   Vancouver Ostomy Association            

AB   Edmonton Ostomy Association                       Fred Hermany

SK   Saskatoon Ostomy Association                  Wand Dansereau 
                                                                                  Diane Boyd

SK   Regina Ostomy Chapter                                 Muffy Truscott

MB   Winnipeg Ostomy Association                       Lorrie Pismenny

ON   Belleville, Quinte West and Area Chapter      Joan Sindall

ON   Hamilton & District Ostomy Association         Roger Ivol

ON   London & District Ostomy Association            Ashley McFarlane

NF   Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter             Carol Wells

NF   Gander & District Ostomy Association            Delilah Guy

How can Gastronaut Puppets be free?
Liz&Phil Prosser of  ICOEF and Paul Riome of LivingBiggerWithColostomy and some Canadian UOAC Chapters have collaborated to bring a little comfort, happiness, and optimism to child-ostomates. 

Gastronauts are the vision of ICOEF who supply puppets at their cost and pay international shipping to me. 

A few Canadian UOAC chapters have embraced the cause and raised funds to pay for puppets for child-ostomates in their region.

For child-ostomates not associated with these UOACanada chapters, I donate the puppets personally.

I pay all the Canadian brokerage and shipping costs. 

Happy Children is our Reward
We love to receive and share pictures of child-ostomates with their Gastronaut Puppet

Privacy -  We will not disclose nor sell your personal information.  Pictures are shown only with permission.

Gastronauts available around the World

Gastronaut Hogus & the Gastronaut Patron for Canada
Paul Riome was chosen as the Gastronaut Patron for Canada,
having made Gastronaut Hogus one of the most-photographed and most-blogged
of the entire Gastronaut family.
Hogus & Paul, both Ostomates, trekked and climbed for 36 days in Nepal.

Gastronaut Hogus was very popular with the Nepalese children

Hogus & Paul have shown other Ostomates 
(and especially Child-Ostomates)

We are not alone

We can do anything we want to do, 
and be anything we want to be

We can live ordinary [even extraordinary] lives

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Nepal 2012 Cooks & Meals

I have heard that some trekkers complain of the bland repetitive meals in Nepal, but no complaints from our team. We're not complainers, and Santos prepared amazing Nepalese meals.
Dal Bhat is the traditional Nepali staple food,
 generally eaten twice a day, for a lifetime.
The basic recipe is steamed rice and cooked lentil soup, with herbs and spices such as coriander, masala, cumin, and turmeric. It is sometimes topped with eggs, chicken, goat, or fish.

Our guides and porters preferred Dal Bhat to any other meal. 
Smiling Janga frequently promoted it's value as the high-energy trekking food with
 "Dal Bhat power ... 24 hour"

Santos and his team cooked our meals over a portable kerosene stove.
Sometimes open-air along our trail, sometimes under a tin-roof shelter, and sometimes in a tent
But never anywhere that resembled a kitchen

Santos made potatoes interesting, with at least 6 different recipes 
A boiled potato, skin-on, was a common and highly appreciated mid-day snack


Porters carried the staples of rice, noodles, and spices.
Eggs, cheese, milk, and vegetables were bought from local people along our trek

Santos and crew worked hard, with only basic equipment & ingredients, to prepare good meals

A butterfly stopped to admire Santos's food presentation

One supper I noticed a bug in my tea, and inconspicuously and quietly removed it. Uttam Kulung must have been watching, and quickly brought me another cup of tea.
I said  "Uttam ...  it's OK, it doesn't matter.

I don't care about a bug in my tea"
Uttam respectfully took my old cup and gave me the new cup, saying

"but WE must care"
It was a small event, shared only by Uttam and me, but shows the pride these Nepalese people have in striving to do their best for their guests.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nepal 2012 Better than an Outhouse

Sometimes ostomates think of their ostomy as a disadvantage or inconvenience
but our experience trekking in Nepal says otherwise.
Some trekkers would say that dealing with an ostomy would be better than dealing with an outhouse.

Living and traveling with other trekkers 24 hours a day for 36 days, we talked about many things ... including the most basic of human functions. Everyone on our team was aware of my ostomy. Many people graciously struggled to adapt to the toilet facilities.

So, knowing what it takes with an ostomy, and looking at the outhouse pictures, I think many would prefer an ostomy to an outhouse. 

Maybe not permanently, but just for a few select occasions :)

If you wonder about 'disposals', click HERE.


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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ostomy Canada-Trekking the WestCoastTrail

Reprinted with permission of the Editor of Ostomy Canada
Volume 20, Number 2 Winter 2012 page 34 

One year after Resection and Colostomy Surgery
the West Coast Trail was the perfect test for my resolve that
‘everything I could do before my ostomy, I can still do after my ostomy’

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Phoenix Magazine - Back in the Rink

Reprinted with permission by
Editor of The Phoenix magazine

There are Penalties for not Listening
I didn't listen to my body or my doctor
Minor Penalty was undetected Cancer.    Major Penalty was a Permanent Colostomy

A story of overcoming Colorectal Cancer
and showing other ‘hockey-tough-guys’
the importance of prevention

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nepal 2012 Petzl

Petzl was popular with our team ... Headlamps, helmets, climbing gear, and safety gear.

Our entire team had Petzl headlamps. Several models, different charging-methods, and a variety of vintages. But Petzl headlamps were always nearby.

In the dark lodges and tents.

When we traveled mountain trails at night, Petzl was there with a broad-beam to light our way.

We started our climb of Nepal's Island Peak Mountain at 1:00am ... in total blackness.
Petzl was there to spotlight our tenuous route. Most of our climbing gear and safety gear was Petzl.

Petzl helmets were well-represented when we summited Island Peak at 20,306ft (6189M)

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