AN ARBROATH landlady strutted her stuff down the catwalk to show people living with stomas they can still live their lives to the full.
Jakki Smith, who runs the Millgate Bar, took part in a fashion show and photoshoot for the swimwear company glitterbeach.co.uk, which designs swimwear for people with colostomy bags.
The event took place last Saturday at Kilconquhar Castle in Fife and aimed to raise awareness of people living with stomas and show them they too can look good in swimwear.
Jakki (30), who suffers from crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, first started to feel ill three years ago and had been trying different treatments for the conditions.
But since 2009 the mum of two has undergone surgery twice and now has a stoma, which she says has totally changed her life and she is on the road to health.
And now she is ready to spread the message that people with stomas can still live their lives with confidence.
She explained: “I was quite nervous about doing this fashion show and photoshoot in swimwear but it is all about raising awareness and showing that people who do have stomas have nothing to be ashamed of.
“They can improve your quality of life but a lot of people who have stomas are quite private about things and live in their own bubble and are sometimes afraid of going out.
“They sometimes think it is the end of their life but raising awareness and talking about it makes it easier to cope with.”
Jakki met the owner and designer of glitterbeach.co.uk, Victoria Lee at a recent event and she persuaded Jakki to take part in last weekend’s fashion show.
The event also raised funds for a project which is hoping to open a holiday centre for people with stomas and inflammatory bowel disease who are struggling to cope after undergoing surgery.
It is hoped the centre will be run by people who already have stomas and can provide support to them.