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