A BRAVE Pollok man marched through the city centre on Saturday afternoon "taps aff" in an effort to break the stigma around stoma bags. 

Aldo Ritchie braced the harsh weather elements and walked all the way from Charing Cross to George Square with his own pouch on display. 

The 31-year-old was joined by around 30 others on the jaunt as the group united to address "shame" which is often attached to the medical devices. 

Glasgow Times:

Alan said: "I knew I’d definitely be pushing myself out of my comfort zone but for a good cause.

“I was really excited on the days running up to the walk, someone actually told me it would be raining.

"Even if it was snowing, I’d still be doing it regardless. The only way I’d be missing it was if my misses went into labor."

The stepdad-of-four and dad-to-be suffers from Diverticulitis Disease, which is a condition that causes small, bulging pouches to develop in the digestive system before becoming infected.

Glasgow Times:

Despite being nervous on the lead up to the taps aff event, Aldo charged on as he recognised that the stigma is something that society needs to address. 

He said: “In the past, I have had shop staff even think I’m stealing items because my hernia appeared very large underneath my clothes. They thought that I was stealing things but I wasn’t – it was a horrible feeling. 

"I didn’t even know what a stoma bag was until two years ago when I had to get fitted with one. There is shame attached to the illness when there shouldn't be."

Glasgow Times:

After being fitted with a stoma bag in 2019, Aldo struggled to come to terms with his condition and underwent surgery to reverse his pouch. 

The operation was rapidly halted after surgeons encountered complications and Aldo had to spend six weeks in intensive care. 

“At one point, I never thought I would have my own family or even have my own children. I want to tell other people who will be in my situation that they are beautiful and they are loved and that their condition does not affect who they are", he said.

"My bag actually burst the other day when I was out for lunch. I was really upset and I thought I had ruined the whole day. My partner was so supportive at it just goes to show, it didn’t ruin anything.

“Although I am trying to raise awareness it still really affects me too, I really wanted to cry about it but these things happen – and it is okay."

Glasgow Times:

After Aldo set up an online fundraiser for Colostomy Association - a charity that provides support and information to those who live with stoma bags - donations surpassed the  £300 target within days. 

Now, he plans to continue organising fundraising events that raise awareness and cash for the cause. 

He said: "This is just the start of the events I will be organising to raise awareness and cash for the disease.

"It was amazing being able to bring us all together. We're not alone and now we are able to confide in one another and share advice to each other. 

Glasgow Times:

“I’m just trying to help others and it has not been easy but I know it is for a good cause and that it will make a difference.

“I want people who have stoma bags to know that they can live a normal life. I’m so happy right now and I never thought life would be like this. My partner saved my life and she doesn’t even know it.

"You might have a bag, but it does not mean you can’t meet your soul mate.”

Donate to Aldo's fundraiser by visiting HERE.