NEW ORLEANS, June 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Chuck Wielgus, Executive Director of USA Swimming, was named this year's Great Comebacks® National Award recipient at a ceremony held in conjunction with the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society's 43rd Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA. The Great Comebacks® Program, which provides support for people living with intestinal diseases that can lead to ostomy surgery, annually honors outstanding individuals who are inspiring others to live life to the fullest after surgery.
"Chuck Wielgus has courageously faced many health challenges, yet has refused to let anything slow him down and keep him from accomplishing many things in his life. Great Comebacks® is proud to recognize Chuck for his strength of heart and mind, and for helping us change misperceptions and build greater awareness of living life with an ostomy," said Rolf Benirschke, Founder and Chairman, Great Comebacks® Program.
Since his ostomy surgery following a diagnosis of Stage III colorectal cancer in 2006, Wielgus has remained active in USA Swimming, traveling widely to encourage competitors at numerous meets including the Beijing Games in 2008. He is also Chief Executive Officer of the USA Swimming Foundation, raising awareness of the achievements of U.S. swimmers at all levels and promoting water safety. He also recently received the Nadar Por Vida Award for promoting diversity in swimming.
Each year, the Great Comebacks® Program recognizes people who have faced challenges associated with intestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer and other conditions that can lead to ostomy surgery. Four regional award recipients are selected by the Great Comebacks® Advisory Committee, and a national award winner is chosen from among these finalists. In addition to Chuck Wielgus, the regional awardees for 2010 are Yvonne Austin, Grove City, OH; David Ba