The Great Comebacks® Program announced today the 2009 regional awards recipients. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the annual Great Comebacks® Program recognizes the inspirational achievements of adults and young people who have overcome debilitating intestinal diseases and ostomy surgery. Scott will be honored tonight with a dinner and awards ceremony at The Crowne Plaza in Reading, PA.
While other 8 year olds could be found on the playground, Scott Bowling, of Cottage City, MD, was learning how to live with Crohn’s disease and having an ostomy. He adapted quickly and inspired everyone around him as he managed his condition with a maturity far beyond his years. Today, Scott continues to inspire others with his positive attitude and resilient spirit, which are helping him cope with another unexpected health diagnosis: cancer.
While Scott would experience occasional flare-ups throughout the years – episodes that sometimes caused him to miss days or even weeks of classes – he refused to let his illness dominate his life. Scott credits his family, medical team and the Metro Maryland Ostomy Association and Youth Group for being his “rock” and helping him through his most challenging times. He forged ahead, participating on sports teams, graduating from high school with his class, thriving in college, traveling abroad and creating a successful career as a mortgage banker.
Then at the age of 34, a week after undergoing surgery for a flare-up, Scott received devastating news – he had thyroid cancer that required surgery. Then,earlier this year, the cancer returned and doctors also found several cancerous lymph nodes in his neck. Scott refuses to let cancer define him or stop him from living his life and instead has faced surgery and radiation therapy with his trademark determination and optimism. In fact, a mere week after surgery, he gave a moving personal testimony to his local ostomy association with the hope of encouraging others and emphasizing the importance of support groups.
Scott knows the road back from thyroid cancer will be difficult, but pushes forward, reaching out to others through continued efforts with his local ostomy association. It is because of his dedication to the ostomy community that Scott was elected Vice President and is now President of the group, one of the largest support organizations on the east coast.
Today, Scott, 38, lives in Annapolis, MD, with his partner, Dave and is actually running for Alderman in his Ward in Annapolis. He hopes to one day compete in the “Get Your Guts In Gear” 210-mile bike ride and encourages others to strive to reach personal goals. “Ostomy surgery is life-changing, but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence or scarlet letter. It can be a new beginning – one that allows you to achieve your dreams,” says Scott.