WEforum Health and Wellness Conference 2016



It Takes Guts… and Good Underwear: Overcoming and Living with a Chronic Illness or Autoimmune Disease

Wednesday, April 20th 10:00-10:45 AM – Shrewsbury Room


We all have challenges in life. As time goes on many challenges will involve our health. HOW we deal with setbacks MAKES us– “just surviving” isn’t enough. Surgery and medical complications can adversely affect our psyche. One’s state of mind can dramatically impact our overall wellness. Lisa Becker’s story illuminates the impact of chronic illness and the many roles a person’s personal support system can play in recovery. Your personal support system is just as important as your medical team, and managing that can be essential. Both doctors and nurses need to be aware of all the issues you face as a patient. Awareness of lifestyle issues after a major medical event and how to address them can positively affect the patient on a long term basis, while interaction with family and/or caregivers can directly affect the progress of a patient’s healing. This lecture will help guide you toward tools that will help you or a loved one, achieve a better life and outlook going forward after a major medical trauma. Be inspired and learn the many parts of the puzzle it takes to conquer Chronic Illness.



From the tender age of 13, Lisa Becker has lived with Crohn’s disease. Today, just over 25 years later, she has turned her years of adversity into her career passion with a “fashionable” business that caters to helping post op surgical patients feel more confident in everyday life.

Growing up with Crohn’s, Lisa experienced the same fears and concerns that many young people with chronic illness  share – that she might never find lasting love nor be able to have a child.   By her late 20s, she married and shortly after gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.   Unfortunately, giving birth brought on a severe flare-up of her disease and after exhausting all possible treatment options, Lisa underwent ileostomy surgery which removed her large intestine.

Lisa’s biggest worries were how to conceal her ostomy bag without feeling self-conscious in public and how to wear her “pre-surgery” clothes again. With great passion and business sense, Lisa created ostomysecrets™, a stylish, high quality, reasonably priced undergarments for men and women that help conceal your ostomy bag. What began as an underwear line has now evolved into a full lifestyle product line, including swimwear, for people after ostomy surgery.

Lisa emphasizes that the support of family and friends helped her adjust to life post surgery – both physically and mentally.  “Having these surgeries gave me the freedom to live a life that before surgery was filled with many limitations,” says Lisa.  She hopes that by sharing her story of chronic illness, she can inspire others to seek a better, healthier life and be resilient to conquer life’s challenges.