Robert Hill, a Crohn's patient has successfully reached the Vinson Massif summit, one of Antarctica's tallest mountains. The climb began on January 12th and was successfully completed on January 19th after eight days of unpredictable and sub-freezing temperatures.
He was a strong, healthy athlete who was later diagnosed with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. During the course of the disease he lost 80 pounds and his large intestine through an ostomy procedure. He initiated the campaign No Guts - Know Glory, as he had a strong inclination for sports and other outdoor activities.
ConvaTec, who specializes in the manufacturing of ostomy and wound care products, sponsored this expedition. It is his fifth quest to scale the tallest peaks on the seven continents. He wants to send across to the world the message that people like him should not quit living their life.
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting both the small and large intestines (bowel) and is otherwise called as the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Statistics show that nearly 1.5 million Americans suffer from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis together called as Inflammatory Bowel Disease. And about 750,000 Americans live with an ostomy because of IBD, colorectal cancer or other chronic bowel or bladder diseases.
It is a great achievement by a person suffering from Crohn's disease, as colon is the organ that is primarily responsible for absorbing water and nutrients into the body. It was very difficult to keep up his nutrition and hydration levels. During the climb he lost about 15% of his body weight.
Hill has successfully scaled five of the Seven Summits and was recently recognized by the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and ConvaTec with an honorary award. He has been a support for many people who are currently suffering from the disease. Hill currently plans to complete his campaign over the next two years by climbing the Carstensz Pyramid, Indonesia and Mount Everest, Asia.