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Born with bladder exstrophy, Tom Exler has been a champion for raising awareness and support for bladder exstrophy most of his life. In the early 1970s, his mother and surgeon founded a support group for parents of children with ostomy and intestinal or urinary diversions. He made his first speech about living with exstrophy in 1976 at the age of 10. Since then, he has given many speeches and volunteered with organizations, including as a camp counselor at the United Ostomy Association Youth Rally.

He founded the United Ostomy Association Young Adult Network in 2002. He has been a member of ABC since 1994 and vice president since 2006. He is an inventory coordinator in the materials management department at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. He has been active in sports, including playing goalie for the Pittsburgh St. Colm Crusaders Gaelic Football Club in the early 1990s.