A KIDDERMINSTER woman who has started a charity to help people with bowel conditions after having her own intestine removed is holding her first fundraising event.
Lauren Henderson, 26, was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, which causes the lining of the digestive system to become inflamed, when she was 21 after suffering years of pain.
Last year, doctors recommended she should have her large intestine removed, meaning an ileostomy bag would have to be fitted for the rest of her life.
Initially worried how the surgery would change the way she looked, she eventually decided to go ahead and is doing everything she can to stay positive.
She said: "Before I found out I was having the surgery I had nightmares about the bag and was completely devastated about how it would affect my life.
"However, now the surgery is over and I'm no longer in pain I'm finally getting my life back and want to be positive about everything that has happened."
Mrs Henderson set up the Purple Wings Charity to help sufferers from bowel conditions to build back their confidence by funding photo shoots, spa treatments and other fun experiences.
She has also visited sufferers due to undergo the operation and has helped to make designer covers for young sufferers who may feel awkward about wearing the bags.
"I didn't realise how much this condition affects people mentally", she added. "I have made sure it doesn't ruin the rest of my life and want to spread that message that people can be positive about what is happening to them and live a good life.
Her first charity ball will be held at the Holiday Inn, in Bromsgrove on Friday, May 30 at 7pm.
Tickets cost £14 and can be purchased by calling on 07557 789081 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org