Gut Inspired: Rob on being an advocate

Published on Apr 18, 2012 by GutInspired

Rob Hill is a member of Gut Inspired, living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD; Crohn’s Disease). He is sharing more about his experiences advocating for himself and others as well as actively managing his disease with his health care team. Rob knows the importance of communication and can better manage his symptoms because works together with specialists he trusts. Rob Hill works with the Intestinal Disease, Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS) raising awareness and sharing his experiences through Gut Inspired.

Please share this video with others who may live with IBD and encourage them to talk and learn more about their disease. To learn more about Gut Inspired and Rob’s story, please visit www.facebook.com/gutinspired

Rob Hill Climbs Mountains

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

Not long after surgery, Rob started getting active again, running and eventually competing. In his lowest moment, he had not been able to climb the stairs in his house so regaining his fitness became a very personal challenge. Recovering mentally would take longer.

When Rob was ill, he learned an aunt of his also had Crohn’s, a fact she had never shared, even with close family members. Through her experience, and his own, Rob 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. Rob decided he had to do something about it.

The Seven Summits campaign, which we call “No Guts [...] continue the story