LIFESTYLE

Crohn's Sufferer Marcia Paterson Posts Colostomy Bag Bikini Picture To Fight Stoma Stigma

23/01/2015 13:38 GMT | Updated 23/01/2015 13:59 GMT

A mum-of-two is being praised across the world after posing in her bikini with a stoma on show and posting the picture online.

Marcia Paterson, 40, suffers from Crohn's disease and had a colostomy bag fitted after falling seriously ill four years ago.

The brave snap gained Marcia hordes of adoring fans, with the picture gaining over 60,000 likes.

A stoma is a surgically created opening in the abdomen to allow waste to leave the body.

Marcia is set to appear on TLC's 'Too Ugly for Love?' to show why she feels beautiful even with her colostomy bag on show.

"It’s a condition that can be embarrassing for a lot of people," she told the West Lothian Courier.

"I was shocked by how many things there were to to consider, and by how it was going to work and affect my life."

"But rather than be negative, I decided to be positive.

"This is something that happened to me - I never expected it - and I'm not ashamed of my body, the scars, or my bag. I don’t think there should be any stigma at all.

"Doing the documentary was fun and a really good way to raise awareness. But if I do go on another date, I won’t be taking a film crew."

Marcia runs a local support group, Bring Your Own Bag, for people with stomas in West Lothian.