Alice Ambrose’s Honesty Lead To Love

by Allison

Editor’s Note: Bladder exstrophy is a rare congenital birth defect that causes part of the bladder to be present outside of the body. Treatment includes surgical correction, but often leaves the patient with long term urological issues. Alice Ambrose was born with bladder exstrophy and was left with an ostomy. She hid this from her peers for 20 years, but eventually told everyone after reconstructive surgery and an extended hospital stay. Alice has learned to be brave and honest when it comes to her condition and sets a great example about living a positive life. Part 3 of a 5 part series.

I was really blessed. I had a job, I could support myself and I could help other people. In 1994, I was about to graduate from the nursing school at the University of Washington, and I decided to go back and say goodbye to one of the pastors who worked at the Covenant House campus ministry center. I met Brad Ambrose here. We started talking and found out we had some things in common. He was attending the church where my parents had gotten married, and his mom was a nurse. After I met him, I thought that he was really nice and that I’d like to get to know him, but later became busy with other obligations and forgot his name.

Alice was very blessed to have gotten a nursing degree so she can help others.

Alice felt very blessed to have earned a nursing degree so she can help others.

Summer came and went, and the job market for nurses wasn’t good. I had some time on my hands and started thinking about this guy I had only met one time, a few months earlier. I went back to see the pastor, who knew us both, and asked him for Brad’s name and telephone number. I went home, called Brad and said, “You probably don’t remember me, but we met a few of months ago at Covenant House on campus.” After talking, we decided to go out to lunch. Before I made the phone call, I kept telling myself, “I’m really interested in this guy, and I’d like to see him again. The worst thing he can say is no.” He agreed!

It was difficult for Alice to tell Brad about her condition, but she knew she had to.

It was difficult for Alice to tell Brad about her condition, but she knew she had to.

Things seemed to be going well with Brad. He was busy in graduate school, getting his PhD in Physics. He finished his PhD and is now a physicist professor at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. After the initial lunch date, we continued to talk off and on and met a few more times.

I knew I had to tell Brad about my bladder exstrophy. The next time we went out to lunch, I told him about my condition and brought an article that was written about me in the Seattle Children’s Hospital newsletter. I felt relieved after I told him, but I wasn’t sure how he was going to react. He thanked me for telling him, but I was still nervous about how he really felt.

Next: Brad Ambrose Asks Alice To Spend Forever With Him

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at

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