meplus-ret-tm.png community

Stephanie Crane

- United States

Stephanie Crane couldn’t imagine life without dance. But when Crohn’s Disease threatened her life, she feared the worst.

Stephanie remembers growing up in Minnesota with mixed emotions—dancing competitively more than 20 hours a week and going to the bathroom more than 20 times a day. Her stomach aches progressed to IBD, then to Ulcerative Colitis, then to Crohn’s Disease. Despite the pain, she graduated college and began planning her life, refusing to allow her health to sideline her from pursuing her dreams.

During a brief remission, Stephanie auditioned for and landed her dream job—dancing at Disney World®. She moved 1,000 miles from home, found a gastroenterologist and started dancing at Disney.

 I happily share my story with anyone who will listen, because I am so thankful for what my ostomy has brought me—health, the ability to do my dream job and the energy for whatever comes next!

Pushing through the flares, Stephanie performed for the next four years, until—at the age of 28—doctors gave her no choice but to have her colon removed. She feared that her days of dancing were over.

To her surprise, the surgery was a blessing in disguise. Without the pain and constant trips to the bathroom, Stephanie returned to Disney World just five weeks after surgery. For the next two years, she danced in many roles, including her favorite – a waltzing ghost in the Haunted Mansion. “I always need something jazzy or absurd to do,” says Stephanie. “The costumes and the crazy routines filled a need in me to do anything elaborate and ridiculous.”

Since then, Stephanie has pursued another lifelong dream—teaching. Today, she’s living that dream in a classroom full of 5th graders and serving as the school’s dance team coach. During summers off from teaching, Stephanie works as a counselor at Youth Rally—a camp for teens with bowel or bladder diseases. She also serves on the board of the Ostomy Association of Greater Orlando.

“Having an ostomy shouldn’t hold anyone back from doing anything, and I love proving that to people. It hasn’t closed any doors for me; in fact, it’s just the opposite. I’m so excited to be alive that I can’t say ‘no’ to any opportunity.

If you’ve been inspired by Stephanie's story and would like us to pass a message on, simply email us at or if you’d like to contribute your own stoma story, just get in touch the same way.

With me+, you can get back to doing all the things that make you, you.

When you enroll in me+, you get all of the valuable resources and support you need right at your fingertips - from a dedicated team of ostomy nurses and specialists to information on product, lifestyle, and diet. You don't have to figure it out alone. Join today and let us help you get back to doing the things that make you, you.