Meet the 2012 IBD Adventures Machu Picchu team!

Machu Pichu 2012 Team

Meet the 2012 IBD Adventures Machu Picchu team! Machu Pichu Trekkers

Meet the 2012 IBD Adventures Machu Picchu team!

 Robert Hill

Robert Hill is the inspiration behind the No Guts Know Glory 7Summits campaign. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 23, having had several years later to remove his diseased colon, Rob made a commitment to raise awareness of intestinal disease by traveling to far places and climbing to extreme heights. You can read more about Rob’s amazing personal story Rob Hill Story. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @roberthillclimb E-mail: rob @

 Phil Wu

Phil, from Richmond, BC, met Rob in 1993 when they both worked at Motorola. After following Rob’s Seven Summits campaign with great interest, Phil joined the NO GUTS KNOW GLORY Mount Everest bid as a trekker. With his love for outdoor adventure, Phil took his support of IBD Adventures to the summit of Kilimanjaro in September 2009, to Mount Everest Base Camp in 2010, across the West Coast Trail, and now as part of the IBD Adventures Machu Pichu team. Follow Phil on Twitter:@phobus

Marsha Akers Marsha Akers

Born and raised in west Texas – Lubbock,TX. Earned a Bachelor of Business degree from the University of Texas in Austin. Worked for IBM 16 years. I have two children, current ages 22 (daughter, Hillary) and 21 (son, Chas). I stayed home with my children for 10 years and I am now back at work in property management working for Riverstone Residential in the corporate office in Dallas, Texas. My son, Chas, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the age of 8. He is doing well and currently on . This will be my first climb.

Jennie David Jennie David

A student at Boston University studying Psychology to be a pediatric psychologist for chronically ill children. Having been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2003 at the age of 12 and choosing to undergo permanent ileostomy surgery in 2010, she believes that chronically ill individuals can achieve everything they want to in life and that they have the right to a beautiful life. She loves being active, be it running or yoga, and is thrilled to be apart of this journey and team to raise awareness about IBD.

 Karyn Poad

I was diagnosed with when I was 16. Coping with flare-ups has been a challenge, but through it all I have remained active with running, CrossFit, organized sports and even participating in long distance adventure races. With my love for travel, I decided to join the IBD Adventures group in the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu. A journey to promote public awareness of IBD, to reduce the negative stigma around the disease and to prove that having an IBD cannot stop me. I’m looking forward to participating in this trek and the challenge that the Inca Trail will bring.

 Michele Hepburn

Michele is trading in her high heels for hiking boots to raise awareness for a cause that she passionately believes in! Although she is not an experienced trekker, she has stepped up to the challenge of preparing for and trekking the Inca Trail, Peru to help make a difference for people living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. She has had a long time desire to experience Machu Picchu, and when Rob Hill told her about the opportunity to join the trek, she embraced the challenge. Living with Crohn’s disease for many years, Michele has dedicated much of her life to raising awareness and educating others about Inflammatory Bowel Disease. She currently resides in Ottawa, has been married to Brian for over 20 years, and they have two wonderful children ages 18 and 16. Michele is President of The 3C Foundation of Canada.

 Norman Hill

Born in Vancouver at VGH, but grew up as a Service Brat, following my Father a Fighter Pilot in the RCAF across Canada, I guess his sense of adventure got passed down from generation to generation. Which lead me into a career in forestry, fulfilling my interest in the great outdoors and giving me the comfort level to introduce the wilderness to my young family. Discovering a life in forestry meant a nomadic life style, like that of an Air Force brat, I wanted to settle down for my family, the Coastal Mountains was the place, now living in Greater Vancouver and working for TransLink.   Knowing the life of a military family and wanting to give back to kids led me into the Reserves on the Cadet Instructors List. Always willing to learn and find new challenges, I would take a Rappel / Absail Instructors Course during my time as an officer in the Cadet Core. This knowledge led me to teaching my own family, wife and kids, Rob being one of these, to rock climb. So I guess it’s my fault that he chose Mountaineering as a profession and away to raise awareness of IBD.

 Linda von Arx

Linda, a lawyer from Ottawa, ON, loves adventures and counts travelling as her number one hobby. She’s very excited to experience trekking one of the new seven wonders of the world, while raising funds and awareness for intestinal diseases. Linda serves on the board of The 3C Foundation of Canada (Crohn’s, Colitis, Colorectal cancer).

 Holly Legere

Holly was born and raised in Bangor, Maine. She is currently a freshman studying psychology at the University of Maine at Farmington and is an avid outdoor enthusiast. Holly hopes to put her training and experiences to use as a child life specialist in the future. Holly was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when she was 10 years old. Since then she has undergone many treatments and surgeries and now finds a great deal of comfort with her second ileostomy. Holly was honored with the 2010 Comeback Kid Award for the Eastern United States region, and has been a top Maine fundraiser for the CCFA Take Steps walk. Following the CCFA motto of being loud and making noise, Holly has spoken at many local, state and regional events to raise awareness of Crohn’s disease. Holly’s participation in IBD Adventures Machu Pichu is made possible by ConvaTec!

 Ashley Anderson

Life is an adventure! After climbing a mountain in Lake Louise, Alberta, Ashley has put her hiking boots back on to climb Machu Pichu in Peru in order to bring awareness to IBD. Ashley has worked hard in promoting awareness of IBD through the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada and GutInspired. Her passion for knowledge has lead her to a holistic way of life. Her focus is on staying active, healing through nutrition, and meditation. Like the mountain she climbs, she is grounded on the earth she stands on. Ashley’s hope is to become closer to nature and to lose her fear of living with IBD. One of IBD’s triggers for Ashley is stress and fear, but by completing one adventure after another she hopes to overcome all her fears. Ashley’s greatest loves and supporters are her boyfriend, Mark, her close friends and family, and Abbott Laboratories who have made this trek possible.

Please give!

Your donations to IDEAS, supporting the efforts of these trekkers, will allow us to make a lasting difference in the lives of children and youth. A week at summer camp, as a camper, or learning to be a counselor, provides a life-changing opportunity for children who have been deeply affected by challenging, painful intestinal diseases. Your donations will also be used to fund research to find a cure for IBD. Please give now through Canada Helps.

If you prefer to donate through our US partners, Youth Rally.