The beginnings: Expatriate Ostomates of the Costa Blanca (EOCB)
EOCB was founded in Jávea in 1997 by Cynthia Robinson. It comprised a fluctuating group of local ostomists who, like her, sought mutual support and the opportunity to assist others. Contacts were made through doctors and the local hospitals, and by referrals from the British Colostomy Association.
The first major project was a collaboration with the Benidorm Social Services Department who were collecting and transporting relief supplies into the refugee camps in Kosovo resulting from the 1999/2000 wars in that area. Many individual 'shoe boxes' of ostomy materials were delivered to the Red Cross outlets there.
In 2002, the Fourth World Ostomy Day (October 25th) was celebrated by EOCB by participation in the world wide e-mail link-up of over 30 countries, and by gathering together in Jávea representatives of the several isolated Spanish ostomy groups with whom it had made contact. The aim was to start a movement towards some form of federation to represent Spain officially in both national and international ostomy matters, -and that effort is now bearing fruit.
The serving Committee of EOCB constituted themselves as a 'Junta Provisional' in 2003 for the purpose of registering and initiating an organisation at national level - the EOS.
EOS evolved as a national organisation with national and international connections and affiliations.
The Fifth World Ostomy Day (October 2006)
WOD5 was celebrated in Spain by the series of events organised by EOS on successive weeks - microlighting at Benicolet, our first full day Seminar held at the Jávea Parador, and a dinner dance in Torrevieja.
The Sixth World Ostomy Day (October 2009)
In close collaboration with the Jávea Town Hall and the Denia Branch of the national cancer charity AECC, we held seminars in the Casa Cultura, Jávea, and in the Denia Royal Yacht Club. Together with CancerCare Jávea, we celebrated with the inaugural party of the Jávea Alliance.
The Seventh World Ostomy Day (October 2012)
Again in collaboration with the Jávea Town Hall, our most ambitious event to date was a full two-day bilingual Congress at the Jávea Parador, featuring several eminent and expert speakers on the technicalities of ostomy.
The Jávea Alliance Against Cancer (JAAC)
In 2009, EOS initiated the Alliance to bring together all organisations in the area that are active in the battle against cancer.
EOS national affiliation: FEDAO
The Spanish 'Federación de Asociaciones de Ostomizados' (FEDAO) was formally constituted in Bilbao at the ARGIA Congress in 2006 and inaugurated with the eight Spanish ostomy associations and EOS at Zaragoza in September 2006. EOS, as a 'vocal' member of the Junta Directiva, was responsible to it for international liaison.
EOS helped many visitors to Spain having difficulties in obtaining supplies.
In 2004, EOS was invited to join the International Ostomy Association (IOA) and took its seat on the World Ostomy Council at the Porto Congress in that year. Our international connections through the IOA were greatly strengthened at the Puerto Rico Congress in August 2007 at which we represented Spain through FEDAO (although the Federation itself has yet to join IOA). At the 2010 Meeting in Frankfurt, the IOA re-organised devolving the leadership to the three Regions – Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, and the Americas – EOS then becoming a Member of the European Ostomy Council (EOA).