Robert Hills Story

Robert Hills Story

Robert Hills Story, In 1994, I was a fit, healthy 23-year-old, an amateur runner, an athlete. Until that time, I had never really been sick. I didn’t even have a regular doctor. When the illness started, it progressed rapidly. Daily diarrhea. Sustained stomach cramps. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory condition of the digestive tract. It got worse my weight plummeted from 185 to 105 pounds. After a year and a half, it became clear that my large intestine needed to be removed.

Not long after surgery, I started getting active again, running and eventually competing. In the lowest moment of the Crohn’s flare-up, I was not been able to climb the stairs in our house so regaining my fitness became a very personal challenge. Recovering mentally would take longer.

When I was ill, learned an aunt also had Crohn’s, a fact she had never shared, even with close family members. Through her experience and my own, I realized how destructive the stigma surrounding intestinal diseases and having an ostomy can be. How it can isolate you, keep you from reaching out and getting help.

I decided to do something about it.

The Seven Summits campaign, which we call “No Guts Know Glory” grew from my love of sports, adventure and the outdoors. By taking it to the extreme, and on a global basis, hoping to show people everywhere that having these diseases or having an ostomy, like I do, shouldn’t stop you from leading a full life. You may not be able to climb mountains, but there are so many other things you can do.

To further this goal, I started the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS), from home in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I approached ConvaTec, whose ostomy products I wear, to sponsor climbs, and became a member of the Great Comebacks™ family. This global program has allowed me to be a guest speaker in many countries, alongside climbs and through local patient and professional organizations.

While reaching the top of each mountain is a great accomplishment, with respect, removing the social stigma associated with these diseases and having an ostomy is a far more daunting task. A task which will require much more than his voice on its own, so Rob hopes you add yours in letting people know they are not alone. One of the young people I recently met said, “this isn’t really about climbing mountains, it’s about moving them.”

My final 7 Summits climb in the spring of 2010–up the south route to the top of Mount Everest in Nepal–thanks to the generous support of Abbott Laboratories and ConvaTec.

Robert Hills Story If you’d like to contact Rob directly, please send an e-mail to rob @

Crohns Disease Emergency Guide

Crohns Disease Emergency Guide

Crohns Disease Emergency Guide, Anyone who has Crohn’s disease will know that a flare-up can often come out of the blue. It can occur anywhere along the GI tract from the mouth to the anus and causes additional symptoms like joint pain and chronic fatigue. Trying to limit the severity and length of a flare-up is imperative, as well as trying to find a way to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Causes of Flare-Ups
According to, some of the causes of Crohn’s disease reactivation could be smoking, stress, other illnesses, nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs, changes in Crohn’s medication, and antibiotics. Some patients find that certain foods trigger their Crohn’s disease, particularly gluten and dairy.


Read More: Crohn’s Disease Flare-Ups: An Emergency Guide

Thomas Exler

Thomas Exler Story

I was born with a rare birth defect called bladder exstrophy, meaning that my bladder was turned inside out. In 1969, just before my fourth birthday, I had urostomy surgery.

As a child with an ostomy, my life could easily have been one of isolation and shame. But my family was committed to treating me like any other child. This would prove to be the motivation for and the foundation of a life dedicated to helping others overcome their own challenges.

Shortly after my ostomy surgery, my mother and my surgeon founded the Children’s Tri-State Ostomy Association (Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia), the first organization in the world dedicated to helping parents of children with an ostomy. I was closely involved in this organization and grew up surrounded by other children facing serious health issues. This inspired me and taught me compassion. It also prevented me from asking, “Am I alone?” I knew there were many people just like me.

Read More: Thomas Exler Story

No tags for this post.