Jackie Zimmerman, Founder

The quick version of my story is that I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) in 2009, had my colon removed in 2010, and my J-pouch connected in 2011.

My UC resulted in many surgeries and complications along the way.  During this time I felt alone, exhausted, and seriously lacked any kind of confidence. Through my sickness I blogged my experience and learned about creating community through the Internet. This is where things began to change for me. I realized that I was not alone, and that while I couldn’t control my illness, I could control my attitude. Ulcerative Colitis removed my large intestine but it gave me so much more in return. In a world where women struggle with body image and self-esteem, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can be a brutal blow to whatever confidence they have. I wanted to be a part of Girls With Guts to show women and girls of all ages that you can break the stereotypes of IBD, not only by being confident and beautiful, but by turning the disease into a learning experience. Think of it as new-aged, butt-driven charm school.