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Gill Castle - AKA Stoma Chameleon, #Ostomate after childbirth, #POSITIVITY after trauma...

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Gill in her own words:

“My name is Gill Castle, and in October 2011 I gave birth to my son, Sam, at 34 weeks gestation, a traumatic birth which resulted in a permanent stoma (colostomy). Over the following years I have set out to prove to myself, and others, what is achievable with a stoma, as initially I was presented with a lot of “no, you can’t do that with one of those”. I also wanted to overcome the trauma of the birth, which resulted in the loss of my job as a police officer, and which forced me to create a new identity for myself.

On my website I signpost people to all the amazing organisations out there who can help, like the Birth Trauma Association, the Masic Foundation, Purple Wings, Samaritans, Colostomy UK to name but a few.

Am I superwoman? Absolutely 110% not. Lots of women suffer like me and come out the other side ok. But when you are experiencing such a load of shite there is often no one who has made it out onto the other side who is shouting about the good life that is possible.

I want to be that person. I want to show that girl who was living through hell that it can turn out ok in the end.

How will I do it? Simply by my actions. I will gladly, happily, discuss people’s trauma with them, and discuss my own, in PM, I understand that talking and discussing helps. But I want to just SHOW you by everything I do, every smile I have, that you can be happy, you can do things. The same for people with stomas.

But, this is also true for ANYONE. I want to sweep people along with my enthusiasm for life and encourage you all to just get OUT THERE and TRY something. Anything! We all have our own desires and goals. So many people say to me that they would “love” to do something “but I’m too scared” .

WAIT UP! Have you actually tried it? How do you know then?

I understand trauma, I understand pain, I understand fear. But right now I understand HOPE and JOY.

That’s it really, just me, doing my thing, being happy, being active and encouraging people to do to the same.”

  • During this episode there is a lot of poo chat and very open and honest conversations about child birth injury and recovering from trauma. If you are not sure if you should listen to this episode- for what ever reason - I would encourage you to ask a friend to listen to it first to make sure it is suitable for where you are in your journey. The episode will always be here, so there is no pressure for you to listen to it now.

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Listen to Gill Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Gill?

  • How animals and the outdoors are important parts of her life

  • Starting to have sailing lessons at eight

  • Enjoying sailing with her brother until seeing the film Jaws

  • Not going back to the sea for about 30 years

  • Her next big challenge in 2023 - swimming the English Channel

  • Reasons for taking up the challenge

  • What is a stoma and how it is formed

  • Dealing with mental health issues

  • How a stoma impacts Gill's life

  • Feeling lucky and starting to embrace her life

  • Saying YES to everything

  • Doing her first sprint triathlon

  • Doing Olympic distance and half Ironman

  • Sharing her journey for the first time in public to raise awareness

  • Raising over £5000 for the Birth Trauma Association

  • Training and nutrition

  • Biggest challenges and lessons that changed her life

  • Gill's experience at a swim camp

  • Why she doesn't want to watch Jaws again

  • Overcoming her fear of open water

  • Getting her slot in Dover to swim the English Channel

  • Getting full sponsorship from Hollister Incorporated

  • Planning and preparation for the event

  • Getting a shoulder injury

  • How she’s getting back into training

  • "The more miles, the better"

  • Working on the mental side of the channel swim

  • Struggling with relaxation


Social Media

Instagram @stoma_chameleon


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