Behold, the felt version of me! Yes I have been immortalised in felt complete with my bag for life.

During my time dealing with a Crohn’s flareup and recovering from surgery I would regularly attend races to photograph both my running club and every other runner taking part in the race. I’d then post the photos online where anyone could use them for free. It was my way of giving something back to the running community.

People have been very grateful for having free photos from their race and I’ve gotten to know a lot more runners through sharing my photos.

During a relay race at the beginning of June, I was supporting our club and on one of the toughest legs of the race and at the end of a tough climb I waited along with the daughter of one of our runners. The father was also running this leg and I was determined to get some shots of them meeting their daughter at the top and was fortunate to take one that captured the happiness of a mother seeing her daughter after running 11 miles – predominantly uphill! In her words, the photo (and others I had taken) ‘melted her heart’.

As a thank you for photos I’d been taking over the months, including that one, she decided to make a felt version of me! She presented it to me this month and I was in complete shock. It was completely unexpected and such a lovely gesture.

Unbelievably Accurate

I couldn’t believe how accurate this felt representation of me was. She had got so many details correct such as my photographer’s pose, club vest and even my favourite brand of trainer – Hoka One One.

Then there were the small details such my Apple Watch, my large lens used for capturing gurning shots from a distance and even the black and red strap of my Canon camera!

Then there’s the pièce de résistance – the bag for life! And she remembered that it’s a colostomy bag and not an ileostomy bag so put it on the correct side!

She did say that sh was originally going to ‘felt me up’ shortly after and have me sitting on a toilet but thought otherwise. I’ve taken everything in my stride so definitely would have seen the funny side.

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Diagnosed with IBD in 2002, I have experienced the usual ups and downs of having a chronic disease and tried numerous medications but the time finally came in 2018 to elect to have surgery to improve my life. I had the surgery in 2019 and this is my journey having a 'New Bum'.

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