These pictures are how I will remember Di Bracken, always trying to improve the lives of ostomates around the world.
From starting a local chapter of Ostomy Canada (formerly UOAC) in the early nineteen eighties to being one of the principal leaders in the nineteen nineties creating an independent national association in Canada and then a few years later becoming its President. That was just the beginning, Di went on to become the President of the International Ostomy Association the only Canadian and proud Welshwoman to do so.
When Di moved to Toronto she became involved with the local Toronto Chapter and soon became its President. Di was a very hands-on person involving herself with the fundraising. Di participated in bingo sessions that involved many nights and weekends. Di did say she enjoyed meeting all the people at the bingo hall.
But before all of that Di worked for the British Government in Hong Kong as a teacher and then went on to Japan to open a school there. That school is still in existence today. I know because Di told me a few years ago she met a young teacher on a plane when she was returning from one of her many trips that this young lady was teaching at that very school. Travel was going to be a major part of Di’s life it seemed.
I worked with Di on the Ostomy Canada Board of Directors and on the Board of Friends of Ostomates Worldwide (Canada). International affairs as far as the ostomy community were concerned was Di’s forte. Di was President of Friends of Ostomates Worldwide (Canada) early on. Di was instrumental in developing strategies on getting supplies to the neediest countries.
She was small in physical size but boy could she get her point across. One of her favourite expressions paid to me was “I’m going to smack you”. But it all was in jest, Di enjoyed a good laugh!
Di always attended sorting and packing that we did over the years. As Di got older she took on the Role of International Liaison for Friends of Ostomates Worldwide (Canada). In that position, Di was instrumental in keeping in contact with the international ostomy community.
Di I will miss you greatly, as will the ostomy community.