About Rob Hill, Global Ambassador
Rob Hill at the summit of Mt. Elbrus,
Europe's tallest peak, in June 2002.
Until 1994, Rob Hill had never been sick a day in his life. The 23-year-old
amateur runner and adventurer, who completed his first marathon in the second
grade, kept a rigorous training schedule. Then, wracked by debilitating diarrhea,
cramping, and pain, Rob was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory
condition of the gastrointestinal tract.
Over the next year and a half, Rob's condition worsened. His weight plummeted
— from 185 pounds to his lightest recorded weight of 105 — and it
became clear that his large intestine needed to be removed. "When it came
down to losing my colon or losing my life, it wasn't a hard decision to make,"
It wasn't until he was sick that he learned an aunt also had
suffered from Crohn's — a fact never shared with family
members at the time. As far as Rob was concerned, "Life with
an ostomy was my second chance and I was not going to waste it."
Eight years after his life-changing surgery, Rob decided to do something
about the social stigma surrounding intestinal diseases and living
with an ostomy.
He began a personal quest to become the first Crohn's patient and ostomate
to climb the Seven Summits, or the tallest peak on every continent, and in doing
so, raise awareness about living with IBD and an ostomy.
Fewer than 300 people over the past 20 years have successfully scaled
the Seven Summits. The feat is hard on anyone, much less someone
without their colon, responsible for absorbing water and nutrients
into the body.
Through his role as Global Ambassador to the Great Comebacks™ Program
and his own Intestinal Diseases Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS), Rob
sets an example that ostomy is not about removing an internal organ as much
as it is about second chances and the opportunity to pursue your dreams.
Today, Rob continues to break down barriers for people living with intestinal
diseases, letting them know that "it's okay to talk about these conditions
and not something to hide behind." Through his role
with the Great Comebacks™ Program, Rob speaks with patients about his experiences and encourages them to get out and conquer
their own personal summits.
Small Steps, Giant Strides toward IBD Awareness
From being barely able to make it up a flight of stairs due to the debilitating effects of his condition, Rob has now completed all of the Seven Summits in his "No Guts Know Glory" campaign:
- June 2002, Mt. Elbrus, 18,481 feet (5,633 m), Russia/Georgia,
- October 2003, Mt. Kilimanjaro, 19,339 feet (5,963 m), Tanzania,
- January 2004, Aconcagua, 22,840 foot (6,962 m), Argentina, South
- June 2005, Denali/Mt. McKinley, 20,320 feet (5,895 m), Alaska,
U.S.A., North America
- January 2006, Vinson Massif, 16,067 feet (4,897 m), Antarctica
- April 2007, Carstensz Pyramid, 16,023 feet (4,884 m), Indonesia,
- May 2010, South Summit of Mount Everest, 29,053 feet (8,850 m), located on the border of
Nepal and Tibet, Asia
- For more information about Rob Hill and the No Guts - Know Glory! Seven
Summits campaign, please visit our "News" section and check out www.nogutsknowglory.com.