Who We Are
We are a group of people with something in common – we, a family member or friend have an ostomy. We are encouraged to share our personal experiences, support each other & hopefully learn something new along the way. It’s a very informal setting, in a safe environment. We often say that there are no dumb questions, because there’s at least one person that has had that very question at one point in their ostomy journey.
Where We Meet
We meet at Covenant Hospital, Harrison Campus in Saginaw, MI. We use a couple of meeting rooms (joined together) on the first floor, close to the cafeteria.
Address: 1447 N Harrison St, Saginaw MI 48602 (see map).
When We Meet
We gather quarterly – approximately every 3 months. Our meetings are always held at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. Sweet treats are usually brought in by our members with coffee & water provided by the hospital. Please contact our leader to learn the dates of our meetings.
Art Norris, President: My relationship with the Saginaw ostomy support group began six years ago after an emergency surgery that left me with an ileostomy. After that surgery I have returned to health and an active retirement.
One of the things that return to health has given me is an ability to again care for my backyard apple orchard. Early last summer when I was outside I noticed that there was a half grown calico cat hanging around my yard. She would follow me. When I was inspecting my apple trees she would climb the tree to be at eye level with me. I took pity on her and would pet her. I gave her some water. And then, mistake of mistakes, I gave her some food because she looked rather hungry. I was adopted. She returned the favor by giving birth to five kittens in the corner of my back porch.
I enjoy my apple trees. I have been able to enjoy mama cat minus four of her kittens. However, I made sure that such a birth of kittens did not happen again. I appreciate the Saginaw ostomy group and I am grateful for the active six years so far that have been given to me.
Margarite Griarson, Vice President: I live in Saginaw and am a full time employee at the Eagles Club in Carrolton.
Jessica Bierlein, Treasurer: My ileostomy was 37 years old in April. Wow, where have the years gone? I have been in the ostomy support group since 1981 and have seen many changes to the group. I am a retired Registered Nurse and married now to a guy I went to school with. I have 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Some live in the Detroit area and some are in Florida, therefore, traveling is always on the agenda.
Since retiring from nursing, I spend a lot of time helping people out and taking care of my mom who is soon to be 97, which keeps me busy. Reading, knitting, sewing and visiting people are my favorite pastimes – much better than housecleaning.
Linda Mattson, Secretary: I’ve had my ileostomy since 2013, thanks to my progressive Crohn’s Disease. But quite honestly, it was the best decision I’ve had to make. The surgeons & staff down at the U of M Medical Center in Ann Arbor were wonderful, both before and after surgery.
I’ve been in the medical field, as a Medical Assistant and Research Coordinator for most of my adult life. Now I’m a Senior Caregiver for a great woman with Dementia. I have three grown children and love spending time with my immediate & extended family. We look for any excuse to be able to get together to celebrate a birthday, graduation, retirement or on a vacation.
This support group in Saginaw is a great group of people from all walks of life, going through some of the same things as many of us and I’m happy to be a part of it.
United Ostomy Associations of America
P.O. Box 2293
Biddeford, ME 04005-2293
Call us toll-free at: 1-800-826-0826.
Our Information Line hours are Monday-Friday, 9am to 3pm EST. If you have an emergency, please dial 911 or contact your local medical professional.
Please understand that UOAA is a private, nonprofit, advocacy and informational organization. We are not a medical facility and we do not have medical or legal professionals on staff. Therefore, UOAA does not provide Medical, Mental Health, Insurance or Legal Advice. Visit UOAA Virtual Ostomy Clinic provided by The Wound Company for non-emergency, virtual ostomy support.
UOAA is the leading organization proactively advocating on behalf of the ostomy community. Recognizing that we are always stronger together, we encourage everyone to get involved by joining our Advocacy Network. We’ve also created several Advocacy Tools and Resources to help you successfully advocate on behalf of the ostomy community to ensure every ostomate receives quality care.