Cancer Chat online community
Im new to this so hi all.
My Dad has bowel cancer and when he first had his stoma, he had all sorts of problems finding a suitable colostomy bag and so we've ended up with loads of spare ones because he'd get a box, use maybe 2 and then decide they were no good and so get a box of different bags. This happened quite a few times so we've got about 6 boxes.
We dont really want to just throw them away, it seems so wasteful so I was wondering if anyone knew of a charity I could give them to.
thanks in advance
Hello Jacky23 and welcome to Cancer Chat,
I am not sure I can answer your query about donating colostomy supplies, the only suggestion I can make is to return them to the chemist where they came from but I am not sure how they would use them - I have the feeling they may dispose of them - how wasteful is that? May be the hospital that your dad has been a patient in would take them?
Judging by the number of views there have been to your question - 1,168 to date I would have thought that someone could come up with a useful answer.
I will continue to ask the question and come back to you if I come up with anything. Rodis.
I would suggest you contact your dad's stoma nurse(s). They should be able to help. When I was told I might have to have a colostomy last October, my stoma nurse gave me some stoma bags - to give me an idea of what was involved. Later on after a few 'accidents' I was given some others to try. I am sure they would be able to use your spare ones.
The nurse also gave me the details of my local ostomates' group. There must one in your area. If the nurse cannot provide this information, the Colostomy Association should be able to do so. You can phone any time any day on 0800 328 4257 or email email@example.com
I was searching the web to find a way of donating stoma supplies and came across this site. I have tried all of the suggestions made by others on this site but to no avail. I agree it seems such a waste to just throw them away. Surely in this world of need there is an organisation that we could give them to. If anyone comes up with anything please please let me know. I feel so blessed that I live in a country that helped me.
Sorry it has taken so long to get a message of hope to you about the stoma pouch donation, I too have had the same problem but since I left my appeal and have since been looking for a charity that will take the unused articles. Watch this space!! I have been in touch with various charities and in desparation have contacted my local newspaper who is working on a project to help. I am supposed to hear from them on Friday of this week - you and hopefully the other 1,168 interested donors will be the first to know when I do. Keep well - Buttercup
Thanks for all your replies and suggestions. Its taken me a while to get round to logging back on and checking - my Dad sadly passed away on 9th August so dealing with his spare supplies became a much lower priority!
I do have some positive news on this though. I contacted the Red Cross who put me onto a charity that do indeed welcome donations of this kind.
The charity are called Jacobs Well (http://www.thejacobswell.org/)
See below the email they sent in response to my query of would they like some supplies. Quite heartbreaking. Due to my Dads passing, we had far more supplies than it was practical to post so a friend of ours who lives in that general area has taken them to hand deliver.
"We are very glad of surplus ostomy supplies as they are expensive and unaffordable by the majority of patients in third world countries. All items are very gratefully received- pouches and accessories, also lotions , powder and gels- provided they are unopened. We suggest that donors remove all the box packaging , place pouches, etc in a carrier bag and parcel up to send. That effectively reduces the weight and cost of postage. It is helpful to put a slip of paper in the parcel with the name and address of the donor. Then we can acknowledge receipt of the items and send out an information sheet about the charity if required. Ostomates in the third world just have to re-use bags issued to them post operatively as the cost of new supplies is prohibitive. When Dr Beynon gives talks - she takes with her an example of an ostomy pouch she has seen patients use. The only way to describe it is a fabric bag like an ancient bicycle inner tube with multiple puncture repairs such as we would have given up repairing long since. It would be amusing if it wasnt so very sad to see and realise the implications for the patient. The supplies go to hospitals and clinics in Romania, Afghanistan, Ghana, mainly at present. The doctors visit the areas and have contacts on the ground, so we are quite sure that supplies go to where they are needed most."
Anyway, I hope this is useful info to anyone else who has stuff to donate. They are very good at replying to emails about whether they can accept specific items.
So sorry to hear of your dad's passing, my thoughts are with you if somewhat belatedly.
Thank you for including the information on ostomy supplies, I am sure other people will find this useful. Rodis.
I am sorry to hear about you Dad's passing and my love and prayers are with you. How kind of you at such a time to think to get in touch with us here. I contacted the Red Cross but unlike you they were unable to help me so I am very grateful to you for putting me onto Jacobs Well. I have sent an email to our local paper with the reply email that Jacob Well sent to you, it is indeed very sad and thought provoking. Once again Jacky love and hugs - and "don't be a stranger", look in on us and share our love. Sincerely Buttercup xxx
Thought I would thank you for finding the web site that you posted. I sent your information to our local newspaper and they published an article giving the information you supplied, so thanks to you, all of the other would be donators - in forum - and readers of our paper, have the relevant information to do some good for others. I hope that you are coping with your loss, my love and prayers are with you and your family. Best wishes, Buttercup xx
Hi Buttercup (and all)
You're welcome regarding the information, I would have hated for all those supplies to have gone to waste, as it seems would so many others.
Im just glad I got lucky with seeking it out so I could pass it on to you guys.
Re the loss of my Dad, we're coping with it, I guess. I still kind of feel like Im waiting for it to hit me or Im dealing with it far too well!
I was browsing on the website of Cancer Research and saw your message. Im not sure if you would still be able to read this reply.
I would love to accept your offer to donate your dad's colostomy supplies if they are still with you. My mother has just had an operation for colostomy back home in the PHilippines. Back home, medical treatment and supplies are very expensive and I have been providing for my mom on my own to help her get the medical treatments and supplies she needs as she battles with cancer.
I would be happy to accept them and have them sent back home and put them in good use.
Hope to hear from you.