John O’Shaughnessy

After beating bladder cancer as a young child, at the age of 10 John underwent ostomy surgery. John did his best to hide his condition from everyone around him out of fear that he would be teased and ostracized by his peers. It was not until John’s young adult years that he began to develop the necessary self-confidence to effectively deal with his condition. He began to cultivate his love for sports and started actively training to compete in marathons and Ironman triathlons. He hopes to motivate, entertain, and inspire all audiences.

John is available to provide talks around Southern Vancouver Island. You can read more about John at

About School Talks

If you are a teacher or principal in British Columbia, IDEAS offers school talks in the Lower Mainland, Okanagan, and Southern Vancouver Island. The School Talks program brings one of three speakers to your classroom or school to share their story, the challenges they have faced living with chronic intestinal illness, and how they have aspired to live a full life. The School Talks program is designed to be both inspirational and informative, and can be presented from health, biology, social acceptance, physical education, geography and many more angles!

The School Talks program is funded, with many thanks, by BC provincial grant monies, so there is no cost to the school.

For more information about the School Talks program or to find out how to bring it to your school, please email [email protected].