People with ostomies can experience depression, anxiety, and embarrassment wondering if they can go to work, play sports, and have intimate relationships. Valencia Webb-Streeter knows they can and has an enduring passion, skill, and superpower for assisting people with ostomies and their loved ones. Valencia carries a toolbox of ostomy dressings organized by size, along with instructional materials and self-assistance kits her patients may need. When working with children, she uses a doll with a stoma to teach and familiarize them about the change to the body so they aren’t alarmed or frightened when their parents have one after surgery.
Valencia is brave, sensitive, and kind when she initiates potentially uncomfortable and awkward conversations, such as discussing intimacy after undergoing an ostomy procedure. As an example, after being consulted on a case, she met with a patient’s fiancé and provided education on post-operative management. Working in partnership with the patient and fiancé, they explored new approaches to intimacy, resulting in a successful outcome as they are now happily married with two children. Valencia is a nurse who not only possesses nursing skills, but also exhibits inventiveness in her work, restoring hope to her community.