The bravery of Vicky MacDowall has to be commended. By speaking out about suffering from ulcerative colitis and having to wear a colostomy bag, the north Down woman will help others in her position.
Lifting the stigma surrounding serious bowel conditions can only make it easier for people worried they may be showing symptoms to seek out medical help.
The recent death of journalist and campaigner Dame Deborah James, who documented her battle with bowel cancer, shone a light on a condition that is still rarely spoken about.
Like Deborah, Vicky refused to suffer in silence, instead setting up her My Little Stomie blog to document what it means to wear a colostomy bag.
Her honesty about her experiences is refreshing, and her journey is one that many people will relate to, whatever condition they may be fighting.
Rather than dwell on the negative aspects of living with a stoma, Vicky says it gave her her “life back”, bringing words of hope to people who need them.
Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear a stoma.