Taking the stigma out of stoma: Women with Crohn's disease launch lingerie calendar to prove they can still be sexy

The calendar is trying to help get rid of the stigma of stoma Credit: SWNS

A group of women with Crohn's disease have stripped down to their lingerie for a raunchy new calendar to try to help others overcome embarrassment about having stoma bags.

The brave women featured in the calendar have all been through surgery to have part of their intestine removed, and need the ileostomy bags - similar to colostomy bags - to perform the function of the missing organ.

Organiser Samantha Cawley, aged 28, said she wanted to help stamp out the stigma of stoma bags, and prove they are no barrier to being sexy.

I know there are some women out there that don't want to get naked in front of their partners because they are so self-conscious so, hopefully, this calendar will do something to help them rebuild their confidence.

Samantha Cawley, calendar organiser

Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system, causing fatigue, severe abdominal pain, unintended weight loss and diarrhoea.

Organiser Sarah Cawley said she wanted to help others overcome any embarrassment about their stoma bag Credit: SWNS
The women have all had surgery to remove part of their intestine Credit: SWNS

The train driver, from Hardwicke, Gloucestershire, was diagnosed with the condition two years ago, and had to go under the knife in August last year after drugs failed to solve the problem.

"I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I had a long-term partner, in fact we are getting married next month, so I already had this great support network," she said.

"But I know a lot of other ladies in my situation are scared to even go out."Money raised from sales of the calendar will go to charity Purple Wings, which provides support to people with bowel disease.

Purple Wings founder Lauren Henderson is Miss November Credit: SWNS

Founder Lauren Henderson, 27, from Kidderminster in Worcestershire, also appears in the calendar as Miss November - and praised her fellow models for their spirit and courage in taking part.

I'm so proud. It's epic. I really can't put it into words.

Lauren Henderson, Purple Wings

Copies of the calendar can be purchased via the Purple Wings website.

The calendar will help raise money for charity Purple Wings Credit: SWNS