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What to Know About Folic Acid Awareness Week

by Jessica January 10 2017 19:42


January 8th through the 14th of this year is National Folic Acid Awareness Week, and we encourage all of our customers and readers of our blog to mark the dates on their calendars. If you want to take it a step further, share this post with your friends and family to help raise awareness. Folic acid is a vitamin that every person needs, but it is especially important for women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. With that in mind, here are a few notes about folic acid and its importance.

What is Folic Acid?

healthy pregnancy with folic acidFolic acid is an essential B vitamin the body needs to produce new cells. This is helpful for fetal development in the womb, but many others also take it for cardiovascular, brain, and nervous system support. 

Folate and folic acid are the same thing; folic acid is just the man-made version. You can get an adequate amount of folic acid in most pre-natal vitamins, but you can also get folate naturally in certain food sources, such as:

  • Lentils
  • Dark green vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, or asparagus
  • Beans (pinto, garbanzo, black, kidney, and more)
  • Cruciferous veggies like broccoli

What Birth Defects Could Be Caused by a Lack of Folic Acid?

There are primarily two:

1. Spina Bifida is a life-long condition which occurs when the neural tube doesn't completely close while in the womb, leaving the spinal cord often unprotected, depending on the severity of the condition. This can result in paralysis or poor limb function, neurogenic bladder and bowel issues, muscle weakness, and more.
2. Anencephaly is another condition associated with a lack of folic acid, which ultimately causes death because the brain does not completely form.

The CDC says that an adequate amount of folic acid could reduce the chances of having these birth defects by as much as 70%.

How Much Folic Acid Is Needed?

Pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant should aim for at least 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid at least a month before getting pregnant and every day during pregnancy. The easiest way to achieve this is by taking a pre-natal multivitamin supplement, although folate can also be taken in through natural food sources, such as the examples listed above. 

For more information about Spina Bifida, visit us at 180medical.com today.

Steps to Receiving Your Ostomy Supplies

by Jessica January 6 2017 12:40
steps to receiving your ostomy supplies

When you've just had an ostomy surgery, whether for a urostomy, colostomy, or ileostomy, the last thing you may want to spend time on is searching for which supplies you need. Especially for newer ostomates, the process of figuring out the type of products and accessories you might need for dressing and pouching your stoma can be a challenge when there are so many product options on the market today. 180 Medical is here to help you navigate the maze and figure out the right ostomy supplies for your individual needs, whether you're new to having an ostomy or have been wearing your ostomy appliances for years. 

examples of ostomy pouch types

Sizing It Right

The most important factor in finding the best fit is getting the size right for your stoma first. There is no one-size-fits-all option for stomas, since they vary so much from person to person, so finding out how big around your stoma is and far it protrudes (if at all) is the main key to identifying the right size for your ostomy supplies, particularly skin barriers and one-piece systems, since these will attach to your skin directly over the stoma. Getting the right fit is especially important, since this will help keep you more comfortable while lessening risk of leakage or skin irritation.

Once you know your stoma measurement, the best way to know how your ostomy appliance works for you is to try it out and wear it for a few days. 
One thing to keep in mind is that, after your surgery, your stoma size could shift in the first 8-12 weeks, especially, as it begins to heal post-surgery, so your first measurement may change over time. 

If you don't have an exact measurement ready, take a coin and use that as a comparison for your stoma size as a close estimate. For instance, a stoma about the size of a dime will be a lot different and require a different wafer size than a stoma the size of a quarter.  

Getting Your Order Started

Aside from your stoma size, you may be asked some additional questions such as the skin condition around the stoma, the shape of the abdomen, and a few other factors which will help your ostomy specialist figure out the best fit for you, together with you and any recommendations or requirements made by your prescribing healthcare provider. 

The rest of the information we need to get your order started is simple demographic information, your surgery type (colostomy, ileostomy, and/or urostomy), as well as your doctor's name and insurance information so we can verify your coverage for your needed supplies.

Once we go over the basics such as your out-of-pocket cost (if any), review your order details, and any other questions or concerns you might have, you can sit back and relax while 180 Medical does the heavy lifting for you!

couple in hammock We handle getting any documentation and prescription information that your insurance might require, pack your supplies with care, and ship them right to your front door. You can rest easy knowing that we bill your insurance for our order without upfront costs, and we offer free shipping as well. 

There are many other advantages of working with ostomy product experts like 180 Medical. When you contact us, you will be put in touch with an ostomy product specialist who can help determine the right options based on your preferences, size, and any other requirements. We offer top quality supplies from one of the world's premier ostomy appliance manufacturers, ConvaTec. We can even send some samples for you to try out before placing an order so you can know how a product works for you before you place your order. In addition, we work closely with a team of ostomy nurses who can assist with any medical questions, so you can rest easy knowing that help is only a phone call away.

At 180 Medical, we have closed and disposable pouches, along with a wide array of wafers and barriers, adhesive removers, belts, and plenty of other high-quality products and accessories to choose from. If you have any questions or if you would like to receive a ConvaTec free sample, contact our friendly, trained Ostomy Specialists, who will be glad to work with you to find the right supplies for you. 


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lindsey g
Lindsey has worked for 180 Medical for 2 and a half years. She is a Level III Ostomy Specialist. Her favorite thing about 180 Medical is how all of her co-workers are so compassionate and truly want to help others every day.

Tips for Prevention of Birth Defects

by Jessica January 4 2017 12:51
tips for prevention of birth defects blog header

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, which was created to raise awareness of birth defects and educate the public on potential causes as well as prevention and treatment options. 1 in 33 babies born in the United States will have a birth defect of some kind. To put things in perspective, this means that every four and a half minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect. 

Birth defects are caused by problems in how organs and body parts form while the fetus develops in the womb. There are more than 4,000 different kinds of birth defects out there, including structural heart issues as well as spina bifida. Spina Bifida, for example, is one common condition which can require the use of catheters to go to the bathroom. Spina Bifida's effects can range from mild to as severe as causing some paralyzation, limited mobility, and even a neurogenic bladder (which can cause urinary incontinence and retention).

Tips to Lessen Risk of Birth Defects

It's not possible to prevent the risk of every possible birth defect, unfortunately. That being said, here are a few tips that may help maximize the chances of having a healthy baby:

  • Take a Folate/Folic Acid Supplement: Low folate levels have been linked to birth defects. Those who plan to become pregnant should aim for at least 400 micrograms of folate every day, starting a month before pregnancy and every day during pregnancy.
  • Get Prenatal Care as Soon as Possible: This will ensure that any potential medical issues are caught early on, and you can get the care and information you need to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Your healthcare professional can advise you best on the right nutrition and exercises during the stages of your pregnancy.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco: These can greatly increase the risk of birth defects. Consult with your healthcare professional on which prescription medications you can continue throughout your pregnancy. 
  • Stay Healthy for You and Your Baby: Prevent infections by avoiding being around people who are sick, and be sure to keep your hands well-washed, especially before and after preparing foods. Seek medical care for any issues of concern. 

For more information, visit the National Birth Defects Prevention Network. Their website offers preventative tips, printable brochures and posters, as well as helpful resources.

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Marina

by Jessica December 22 2016 12:38
Earlier in the year, we were finally able to announce the names of this year's 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients after much deliberation. It was difficult to narrow it down to only seven recipients, because there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are truly honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

We will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured MacyJared, TiffanySpencerMaria, and Nicole. Today, meet the last of our 2016 recipients, Marina!

marina 180 medical college scholarship recipient 2016

Marina is no stranger to a challenge. She was born with a host of medical issues, including a neurogenic bladder and a chronic illness, and when she wasn't at the hospital or at home dealing with the setbacks of her condition, she also had to deal with some discrimination in school. But through it all, she has maintained a level of positive thinking and inner strength that is truly inspiring. She states, "I decided at a very early age that I would not let this setback define who I was, but rather who I will become."

In addition to working hard to keep a high GPA and maintaining her status on the Honor Roll, she also participates in extreme snowboarding, kickboxing, running, and volunteering however she can in her community. She is also always open to helping out a peer or another adolescent with advice and support before and after their surgeries. 

marina 180 medical 2016 college scholarship recipient snowboarding

Thanks to her experience, both of living with her conditions and in helping others, she feels she has discovered her core characteristics and her true ambitions -- to become a nurse. "In addition to a solid education, experience goes a long way towards creating our best and most compassionate nurses," Marina says, and we're sure that her experiences will lead her to be a truly great nurse! 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

Holiday Fun at 180 Medical

by Jessica December 14 2016 20:58
Here at 180 Medical, we love to celebrate holidays, and one way we have some fun at work around this time of year is our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, which we held on Friday, December 9th. We were so happy to have all of our employees from our remote offices around the country here with us at the headquarters for that night's annual Christmas Party as well.

The morning started off great with an opportunity to get some hot chocolate and doughnuts in order to raise funds to make boxes of love for spinal cord injury patients transitioning back to normal life back at home after leaving rehabilitation therapy. Everyone was excited to participate and help out with the fundraiser, which was put on by our 180 Way Committee. Plus, the hot chocolate with all the fun fixings was a perfect treat that morning with the recent cold weather.

2016 donut and hot chocolate fundraiser at 180 medical
Another super-fun part of the day was an option to take some silly pictures with our co-workers and teammates in a Christmas Photo Booth.

2016 christmas holiday photo booth at 180 medical
One thing that makes every year at 180 Medical special is the opportunity to participate in the Salvation Army's Angel Tree Christmas Charity. We had an amazing turnout from our employees who gave to the children involved in the program with over 100 items purchased this year. It's a wonderful feeling to know we can help make it a great Christmas for kids and their families, as well as work alongside such compassionate people.

2016 salvation army angel tree at 180 medical
Overall, it was a great day that ended with a evening of dancing, dining, and more at our annual Christmas Party in downtown Oklahoma City. It's so nice to be able to have fun at work, in between taking care of our awesome customers, and that's just one of the many reasons why 180 Medical is such a great place to work. In fact, we've been named one of the Best Places to Work in Oklahoma for seven years! 

Are you ready to become a part of the 180 Medical family? Check out our Careers page for more information and to apply.


About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Nicole

by Jessica December 9 2016 19:53
Earlier in the year, we were finally able to announce the names of this year's 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients after much deliberation. It was difficult to narrow it down to only seven recipients, because there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are truly honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

We will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured MacyJared, TiffanySpencer, and Maria. This week, meet Nicole!

nicole m 2016 180 medical scholarship recipient quote

Nicole is an inspiring young woman who has been through many surgeries and hospital stays due to complication with a rare disease known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Despite all of this, focusing on her education was her top priority. Although she felt that her condition and the outcome of various surgeries were out of her control, her grades and her drive to succeed were both something she could absolutely control.

Thanks to ileostomy surgery, she is living a happy, healthy life again. Not only is she dedicated to helping others, she offers support and enjoys educating others about living with an ostomy on her own YouTube channel. She also loves to spend time volunteering as a counselor and nurse aid at Youth Rally, which is a great camp for kids and adolescents who have conditions of the bowel and/or bladder that offers motivational and education sessions and opportunities. She has also mentored young girls as a counselor at GIRLS Academy. Now, her focus continues with her schooling as she works toward earning a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing. 
nicole m 2016 scholarship recipient
Because of her first-hand experiences with illness, surgeries, and recovery, as well as her involvement in offering advice and support to others living with an ostomy, we're sure that Nicole will be an excellent nurse, and we wish her the best of luck as she continues on with her schooling. 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page

180 medical college scholarship application footer

About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

All About Catheter Eyelets

by Jessica December 8 2016 08:34
all about intermittent catheter eyelets

When considering the brand or type of urinary catheter you'll be using, the eyelets might not be the first thing you think of as an important feature. As a matter of fact, the quality, size, and placement of the eyelets can add or detract greatly from your overall catheterization experience. We hope to offer you a more detailed explanation of why that is, as well as the possible options that are available so that you, together with your prescribing health professional, can make the right decision on what intermittent catheter may work best for you.

What Are Catheter Eyelets?

The eyelets of a catheter are the small holes located typically on or around the insertion tip of an intermittent catheter. These are placed here so that when the catheter enters the bladder, the urine can enter the passage of the catheter tube and then drain out accordingly.

Punched Vs. Polished Catheter Eyelets

catheter eyelets close up One of the first and perhaps most obvious differences between intermittent catheter eyelets would be how the eyelets are created during the manufacturing process.

One way to create a catheter eyelet is by literally punching a hole in the material, sometimes called "cold-punching." While this will create eyelets that do their intended job, some catheter-users find that punched eyelets are a little rougher and the edges can create some discomfort as the catheter moves through their urethra.  

Many catheter products being manufactured today have eyelets that are polished. Polishing the holes makes the edges much smoother, which allows for a more comfortable catheterization with less friction. 

Size and Shape of Catheter Eyelets 

The catheter eyelets can vary from brand to brand in terms of shape and size. Larger eyelets may allow urine to drain a little faster, as will having two or more eyelets versus just one. Smaller or fewer eyelets will allow the urine to flow a little more slowly from one's bladder. However, this also depends upon the brand itself, as some catheter types may also have more narrow interior passages due to their unique layering, which could also account for slower drainage.

Another point to take into consideration is that the shape of the catheter eyelets may also play a role in how comfortable a catheter may feel. In an in vitro study in 2014, researchers looked at how eyelet shape affects the surface tissue of the urethra. It was determined that wider drainage eyelets allowed more tissue to dip into the hole, which may create a feeling of discomfort, irritation, or friction. This might be another aspect to consider when looking at your catheter options.

Finding a Catheter That's Right For You

There are many intermittent catheter brands and types out there, and we know that the wide selection can be overwhelming, especially when you’re learning to self-cath for the first time. And of course, there is no one catheter brand that works best for everyone. We have a wide variety of intermittent catheters for men, women, and children from all of the top catheter brands available today, and since we specialize in catheters, we know our business from top to bottom. If you find your current catheter is not as comfortable of an experience as you feel it should be, or if you are ready to try out some alternate products, feel free to contact us to speak with of our highly-trained, friendly specialists today.

References: Walker M, Lambrethsen J, Winther T (2014). In vitro testing of tissue deformation by catheter eyelets

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About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

Top 5 Tips to Keep Your Bladder Healthy

by Jessica November 30 2016 10:55

November is National Bladder Health Month, and we are glad that an entire month is dedicated to the importance of the bladder. It's an organ that often goes unrecognized in its impact on your body's health until it stops working the way it should, but it's a crucial part of your urinary system as well as your overall well-being. Even your emotions can be impacted when you experience adverse symptoms that come with a condition such as an overactive bladder (OAB), bladder cancer, Interstitial Cystitis (also known as Bladder Pain Syndrome), incontinence (loss of bladder control) or urinary retention (an inability to empty the bladder completely), to name a few more common issues. 

Literally millions of people are affected by these conditions, particularly incontinence (which is estimated to affect anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 of all men and women in the United States), so it's important to bring awareness about bladder health, bladder conditions, and how common they are, as a first step of getting rid of the stigma associated with these issues. 

Top 5 Tips for Bladder Health

We here at 180 Medical are committed to making sure you have the information you need to stay as healthy as possible, so here are some tips for your bladder's health.

1. Watch what you drink. 
Drinking the right amount of water for your individual needs (typically between six to eight 8 oz. glasses) is, of course, crucial for your body's overall health. The proper amount of fluid assists your entire urinary system in doing its job to flush waste from your body. But did you know that both caffeine (usually consumed in the form of coffee, certain sodas, or tea) and alcohol are both bladder irritants? Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, which can overstimulate the bladder and reduces your body's fluid. These are both things you'll want to avoid, particularly if you are dealing with symptoms of incontinence or overactive bladder. 

2. Quit smoking.
Did you know that smoking tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, etc.) actually increases the risk of bladder cancer? If you smoke, you are actually 2 to 3 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than non-smokers. The chemicals in tobacco are filtered through your lungs, out of your blood, and finally into the urinary system as waste, and eventually, these chemicals can affect the lining of the bladder, which increases the chance of cancer developing over time. Among the other many reasons to quit smoking, this is certainly an important one to consider.  

3. Lose excess weight.
If you are overweight, working to lose weight can also help reduce symptoms of stress urinary incontinence. When extra weight presses down on the bladder and the supporting muscles, it makes it harder for your body to hold on to the fluid inside the bladder, which can cause leakage, especially when you laugh, cough, sneeze. Daily exercise and eating right can help you get closer to your fitness goals as well as improve your bladder's health.

talk to your doctor 4. Do your daily Kegels.
Just like lifting weights strengthens and tones your muscles, Kegel exercises are important for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder and the urethra, which can have a very positive effect and lessens symptoms of incontinence. Learn more about how to perform Kegels here.

5.  Talk to your doctor. 
If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, such as urine leakage, an inability to void your bladder, or any pain/discomfort in the pelvic region or when urinating, be sure to schedule an appointment to see a healthcare professional that can best diagnose what's going on as well as determine a proper treatment plan. Many avoid going to see a urologist or their general practitioner about their "bathroom troubles," because it can feel embarrassing, but as said, many people experience these issues too, and doctors are there to get you well again. 

If you need to use intermittent catheters as part of your doctor's treatment plan, we're happy to help you find the best catheter for your needs. Contact us today to speak with one of our trained, friendly specialists.


About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company. 

 

Travel With Catheters: Tips For Thanksgiving Weekend

by Jessica November 18 2016 09:33
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Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which, for many people, means there is traveling ahead to be with family and friends for the holiday. Did you know that Thanksgiving is actually one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, with over 44 million people on average traveling during the holiday weekend?

Travel can sometimes be stressful for everyone, but for people who use urinary catheters and carry catheter supplies with them, there is an added element to planning a trip that requires some forethought and organization in order to make the trip as successful as possible. 

What Should I Do If I Have to Travel By Air?

top 3 tips for traveling with cathetersOne of our employees, Bill, wrote a detailed blog post several years back that offers some great tips on what you should do if you self-cath and need to travel on an airplane. Just to refresh your memory, here are several important things to do:

1. Contact the airline before your flight.
The airlines are incredibly busy at this time of year, so you'll want to contact your airline as soon as possible once you've scheduled your flight. Ask the representative if they have any special procedures for traveling with catheters in your checked or carry-on luggage. In addition, it might be a good idea to make sure your catheter supplies and any other medical equipment or accessories meet the TSA guidelines, so there are no surprises when you get to the airport.

2. Know and follow the current TSA Guidelines for Liquids.
The TSA Guidelines have what is known as the 3-1-1 liquid rule. You are allowed to bring a quart-sized clear bag with liquid items, aerosols, gels, creams, and/or pastes through the security checkpoints in carry-on luggage as long as each item is 3.4 ounces or less. Make sure to pack your lubrication and any other liquid supplies in accordance with this guideline in order to avoid any hold-ups at the TSA checkpoints. 

3. Be prepared to bring documentation if needed.
If you plan to pack all of your supplies in carry-on instead of checking any luggage, it's possible, depending on your supply type, that you might need to provide some sort of medical exemption or documentation from your doctor proving the necessity of your medical supplies, such as your catheters.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Pack extra catheters just in case you are required to stay longer than originally planned. 
  • It's a good idea to pack at least a few days worth of your catheters and any other medically necessary items in your carry-on luggage, just in case your checked luggage gets delayed.
  • Remember to use proper hygiene, especially when self-cathing in public bathrooms. Washing your hands and using antiseptic wipes and other insertion supplies may help reduce the risk of contamination or infection no matter where you are. 

For other questions you may have about traveling with your catheters, contact our team of friendly, trained specialists at 1-877-688-2729 today.

2016 180 Medical College Scholarship Recipients: Focus on Maria

by Jessica November 15 2016 12:20
Earlier this summer, we announced the names of each of the 2016 180 Medical College Scholarship recipients. This year, there were so many deserving candidates with inspirational backstories and exciting goals, whether to be able to return to school after a long absence in hopes to renew a career path or just starting out as a college freshman with dreams of being able to help others with their future job. We are truly honored to be able to help these seven students get a little closer to their goals. 

We will continue to feature each one of our recipients on our blog, so sign up for our newsletter so you can get notified every time we publish a new blog. Previously, we have featured MacyJared, Tiffany, and Spencer. This week, meet Maria!

maria c 180 medical scholarship recipient

Maria was only three when a rare neurological disease known as Transverse Myelitis began attacking her body. She became paralyzed from the neck down, and the doctors were unsure if she would recover. But Maria, now referred to as a "miracle case," defied the odds and is now able to stand and walk again. Not only that, she is active with skiing, horseback riding, swimming, and golfing as well as making time for community service, orchestra, co-captain of Math Team during high school, mentoring, and more.

We were especially inspired by how much Maria has worked to overcome the the physical challenges that are still present, due to the Transverse Myelitis symptoms that continue. "Physical therapy is my varsity sport," Maria says. "Sometimes getting from point A to point B takes the shape of a marathon." Yet, she continues on, and she has accepted the challenge of going to college, where she hopes she will make a difference.

As of this fall semester, Maria has begun her first semester of college at George Washington University with a currently undeclared major. We hope her first year of college is a blast and that she continues to excel and change others' lives. 

180 Medical is honored to offer an annual scholarship program to help those with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, ostomies (ileostomy, urostomy, and/or colostomy), and/or a neurogenic bladder. We know paying for college isn't easy these days, and we also understand that there can often be extra financial difficulties for aspiring students who live with these conditions. That's why we created this program. To learn more about our annual College Scholarship, visit our Scholarship page


About the Author:

Jessica has worked for 180 Medical for 7 years. Her current job title is Purchasing & Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite things about 180 Medical are her great co-workers and getting to work for such a fun, caring company.