| Last updated
A woman who lost here intestine to a life-threatening condition wants to become Britain's first national beauty pageant winner with a colostomy bag.
Rachael Kin spent six weeks in hospital when she had her large bowel removed due to getting ulcerative colitis - an inflammation of the colon.
The single mum has faced 'discrimination' for the way she looks since having her bag fitted, leaving her feeling 'isolated'.
Now, Rachael wants to become a role model for other people with the condition, after winning a regional round of a beauty contest.
She said: "I want to be the first contestant with a colostomy and hope to inspire anybody struggling with body confidence issues.
"If I can help to prevent one person from going through what I did mentally then that for me is the real crown."
The model, who is from High Wycombe Bucks, was training for the London Marathon when she was rushed to hospital in July last year.
She said: "I went from being fiercely independent to totally vulnerable. I couldn't walk unaided, couldn't brush my teeth, or have a shower independently.
"The IV steroids made my body unrecognisable and I lost all confidence."
The 28-year-old didn't know anyone her age with a bag, and was left questioning whether she'd ever be able to wear the same clothes, eat the same food and model again.
She continued: "My partner of four years struggled to accept what had happened, and discouraged me from embracing the change, seeing my ileostomy as something that should be kept private.
"It was heartbreaking to watch my relationship come to an end.
"My mental health deteriorated rapidly, and from a once confident young woman, I found myself hiding away from the world outside."
However, Rachael discovered that her recovery was dependent on her being able to be open about her body.
This month, she won the regional title of Miss Divine Buckinghamshire 2018 and will take part in the grand finals of Miss Divine UK in Newport next month.
Rachael said: "I want to be able to support people in my position. I want to reach out to young women with disabilities and change the way people view beauty."
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read