PINEHURST – The Sandhills Ostomy Support Group will welcome retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Justin F. Blum as the keynote speaker for its 3 p.m. meeting on Sunday, Jan. 8, in the Conference Center at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
In June 2011, Blum received the Great Comebacks Public Service Award, a recognition named in memory of Tony Snow, a former news broadcaster, White House adviser and 2006 Honorary Great Comebacks Award recipient.
Great Comebacks, which provides support for people living with intestinal diseases that can lead to ostomy surgery, annually honors outstanding individuals who are inspiring others to live life to the fullest after surgery. The program is sponsored by ConvaTec, in partnership with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation; the United States Ostomy Associations of America Inc.; the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society; Youth Rally; the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society; and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
The words “I can’t” are not part of Blum’s vocabulary. When he received a permanent ostomy at the age of 40 following a 21-year battle with ulcerative colitis and a diagnosis of early stage colon cancer, there was no doubt in his mind that he would be able to return to a full and meaningful life. He has displayed exceptional courage and a dedication to others that motivates all.
Blum lives in Florence, S.C., with his family and is working on his third master’s degree. He already has one in public administration and another in counseling and hopes one day to earn a Ph.D. in counseling or leadership so he can formally work with the Veterans Administration as a mental health counselor.
For more information on this program or to RSVP, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at (910) 215-8086.