When Aneica Duffy was 16, she was diagnosed with the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease condition, Ulcerative Colitis.
Since then, the Foreglen woman, an ambassador for Let’s Talk Crohn’s and Colitis Northern Ireland, has undergone major surgery. Aneica has no problem talking about wearing a stoma to raise awareness.
As part of the campaign to raise awareness of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis, Aneica helped organise several landmarks to be lit up in purple in support of international IBD day yesterday. Buildings lit up included Derry City and Strabane District Council offices.
“People may think having a stoma restricts you, but I think otherwise. Having my life back and being able to share it with the best family and friends is the best feeling,” said Aneica, now aged 21. “If anything, it pushes you to excel more in life, to break the barriers that may be placed upon people with chronic illnesses. I would urge people to try to understand what it is and how it affects people. It’s not their fault if some people don’t understand the condition, which is why we have to raise awareness about it and the challenges we face. We have to do our bit.”
Anieca met Derry and Strabane Mayor, Elisha McCallion, yesterday and thanked her for her support.