7 Ways I Brought Awareness to Ostomy With My Climbing Boots


I am very happy to have Yes Wellness lending their support to my Kilimanjaro fundraising trek for many reasons, but first a mini intro.

My name is Robert Hill. In my early twenties I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and soon after needed a surgery to save my life. Today, I live with an ileostomy and without my colon. Years ago, I would have wanted you to feel sorry for me because I felt sorry for myself – but that was a long time ago. That was a time before I realized that knowledge was key and that I had been handed a second chance to live life. Why waste this second chance?

Once my new outlook on life had taken root, I thought:

  • No one talks about intestinal issues
  • Information is hard to find
  • Good and relevant information is even harder to find

From this, I realized that I had the answer to the question I had asked myself many times: “Why me?!” I realized that I could be the person who talked about intestinal issues. I’m a BC boy. I grew up with heroes like Terry Fox and Rick Hansen – they inspired me to challenge myself with my condition and new outlook on life.

I had to do something that challenged my boyhood heroes. What could it be?

I took my passion for the wilderness, climbing, and any sort of physical and mental challenge and decided to climb the “7 Summits” – the highest mountain of each continent. It took many years, but in 2010 I reached the top of Mount Everest. This marked the conclusion of my campaign, as well as being the first person with an ostomy to do so. I still climb and I show other people living with intestinal illnesses that they can too, by having them join me. This is why I’m off to Africa. Robert_Hill_Ostomy_Yes_Wellness

How does all of this move toward support from Yes Wellness? Knowledge is very important to me – especially knowledge about nutrition. Since my absorption of nutrients is compromised by my illness, and because I do not have a large intestine that can absorb fluids and electrolytes back into my body, I have to rely on my small intestine to work over time. This makes my small intestine’s role very crucial to my health and has me more interested in knowing what I am putting into my body.

As a climber, an athlete, and an active dad it is extremely important for me to keep my energy levels up and recovery time down – a balance in life is key. I did not realize how much we could become affected by nutritional intake until I really started to train for big climbs.

How does Yes Wellness help with this? They have:

1. The products I use and like.

2. Great product knowledge.

3. Alternatives – in case I want to try something new.

4. Convenience. I hate shopping. Ordering online in a matter of 5 minutes and having products delivered straight to my door is a bonus.

I am excited to work alongside of and have the support of Yes Wellness. I am in Africa, have my nutritional support, and will discuss with the importance of nutrition and being active while having a compromised digestive system. I just wanted to introduce myself and mention how grateful I am for the support of Yes Wellness.   

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