Diagnosed in 1994 with Crohn’s disease, Rob fought a hard battle but Rob says “when it came down to losing my colon or losing my life, it wasn’t a hard decision to make” Rob’s colon had to be removed a year and a half later. “Life with an ostomy was my second chance and I’m not going to waste it”. Growing up with heroes like Terry Fox and Rick Hansen, “I felt that I maybe could make a difference as well”.
Rob combined his love for life, sense of adventure, with a love of the outdoors, to start the NO GUTS KNOW GLORY! Seven Summits campaign. “By my taking it to the extreme, I hope to show other people living with a chronic intestinal problem that it shouldn’t stop you from living life.”
Rob spends his a large part of his time climbing, skiing and trekking in the coastal mountains of British Columbia. The rest of his time is made up of volunteer work with the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS), Lions Bay Search and Rescue, UOA of Canada ostomy camp for kids. He also makes time for family, friends, working with developmentally disabled adults, and giving motivational talks about his life with Crohn’s and his climbs.
Achievements of note:
- First marathon age 8.
- Having my Dad who taught me to climb, watch me climb my 1st 5.11.
- Sea2Summit, 1st adventure race 2 years almost to the date after surgery.
- 1st of the Seven Summits, Mt. Elbrus Russia, Europe’s highest peak, June 2002.
- Having to turn around after reaching Camp 2, 5,900 meters on the Polish Glacier side Aconcagua, due to what is thought to be a kidney infection.
“These moments have a special place in my heart, thank you!”
Rob’s dream is to follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadian Pat Morrow, and accomplish another great first for the Seven Summits. Rob will be the first Crohn’s sufferer and Ostomate to stand on the top of the world, the Seven Summits. The Seven Summits consist of, in the order that Rob and the NO GUTS KNOW GLORY team will climb them. Europe: Russia’s Mt. Elbrus; South America: Argentina’s Aconcagua; Africa: Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro; North America: Alaska United States of America’s Denali; Antarctica: Vinson Massif; Oceania: Indonesia’s Carstensz Pyramid; and Asia: bordering Nepal and Tibet, Everest.
In Rob’s words “Although reaching the summit of each mountain is a great accomplishment and challenge, with respect, I would say that removing the social stigma attached to Intestinal diseases and disorders is a far more daunting task.”