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Man With Crohn’s Disease Shows Off Ostomy Bag in Shirtless Gym Selfies

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Karl Tucker, 25, from Oxfordshire, England, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, in 2014. After several surgeries and visits to the hospital, he now has an ostomy bag.

Between operations in April and August of 2015, Tucker lost nearly 30 pounds, and he was so sick he couldn’t wash or dress himself, according to the Daily Mail. He used to go to the gym and play soccer five times a week, so when he was finally able to resume his fitness routine in December 2015, he used selfies to track his progress — and boost his confidence.

Tucker then decided to share the photos with Crohn’s and Colitis UK’s Facebook page, and he received an overwhelming response.

“I don’t usually post but thought why not? After having 3 surgeries, I finally got back to doing what I love…back in… Posted by Crohn’s and Colitis UK on Saturday, March 5, 2016

The post reads:

I don’t usually post but thought why not? After having 3 surgeries, I finally got back to doing what I love…back in the gym and playing football! No excuses, just hard work and dedication. These photos were taken a month apart in January, February and March. I’m on the waiting list for a proctectomy but keeping positive. Anything is possible!

While Tucker admits it’s still a “daily struggle,” he told the Daily Mail he hopes to inspire others to share their story and keep pushing.

“I wanted to show people that you can achieve anything,” he said. “I’ve had such a great response. People from all over the world have messaged me saying thank you and asking questions.”

Originally published: March 9, 2016
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