Model Bethany Townsend is getting support from all over the internet after she posted her photos on the Chron's and Colitis UK Facebook page, and to her surprise they ended up being seen by over nine million people, receiving 217,402 likes as of Thursday.
The 23-year-old make-up artist and model from Worcester in England can be seen in the photos wearing her bikini, and two colostomy bags attached.
When posting the pictures on the Chron's and Colitis UK Facebook page, she wrote: "Finally after three and a half years, I decided that my colostomy bags shouldn't control my life. So when I went to Mexico with my husband in December last year I finally showed I wasn't ashamed. Still hoping for a cure..."
Townsend suffers from Crohn's Disease ans she has to have a colostomy bag fitted at all times. The disease causes chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Because of the overwhelming response she has received from the public, she says she has now shed any insecurities she had about her condition and hopes she can help other people living with her condition to do the same.
She said of the positive feedback she received: "WOW! I can't believe all that has happened today it's just incredible....all I've ever wanted to do is get awareness for Crohn's Disease and help others in anyway I can to show there's nothing to be ashamed of."
She was diagnosed with the disease at age 11, since then she has been on steroids, infliximab, methotrexate and every other drug going as well as being tube fed for 4 years. After five more operations her bowel burst 4 years ago and she ended up with two colostomy bags. She had a stem cell transplant which was in trial in the UK, and caught MRSA which nearly killed her. Her Crohn's has still been extremely active, she's lost more weight and waiting for a drug cure. But a bowel transplant is an option.
To see more of the model's story, click here.