ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL -- Manny Cuevas, a Nashville fashion designer, was honored with the 2018 Local Hero Award, presented by the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), at a ceremony during the organization’s Annual Meeting on May 20 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Watch Manny's Local Hero Video)
The award recognizes a patient who has been affected by a colorectal disease, has contributed to the local community through advocacy or public outreach efforts and has an inspirational message for others. Local Hero award recipients are selected from the regional area where the ASCRS Annual Meeting is held.
“We were thrilled to honor Manny with the Local Hero Award,” said Dr. Sharon Stein, a colorectal surgeon and chair of the ASCRS Public Relations Committee who presented the award. “Manny’s infectious spirit encourages ostomates to live life to the fullest. His advocacy will go a long way to raise awareness and lift misconceptions about ostomies and those who have them.”
After multiple surgeries for an intestinal block, Cuevas has had a permanent ostomy for more than five years. A successful fashion designer for decades, Cuevas has his own clothing line called “Wear It Out by Manny.” Ostomy recipients are an inspiration in his designs and he sees it as an opportunity to show the world that people with an ostomy can dress in the latest fashions.
Cuevas has been a regular contributor to for Hollister’s quarterly newsletter for ostomates and successfully advocated to have Ostomy Awareness Day officially recognized in the state of Tennessee. In Nashville, Cuevas’ took part in the recent Take Steps Walk, sponsored by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
“As much as I appreciate the award I was honored with, and as grateful as I am for it, the greatest reward I’ve ever been given is the simple opportunity to help others learn to not worry about how the world around us perceives our situation. We are still the beautiful people we’ve always been in our hearts, regardless of what changes we must deal with on the outside! And remember, advocacy to self-awareness is the most important part of coping with this hidden disease and we must always support the others around us who deal with the same problems and concerns!” said Cuevas.