B.C. teen with Crohn's disease to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

    Campaign aims to "Change Attitudes with Altitude"

    TORONTO, Aug. 31 /CNW/ - Sixteen-year old Clinton Shard has never climbed
a mountain. At the age of 12, he had to give up most of his favorite
activities, which included hiking and rock climbing, due to a diagnosis of a
serious condition called Crohn's disease. Despite this, he is leaving his
hometown of Squamish, B.C. on September 5 on the trip of a lifetime to
Tanzania. Clinton, and a team of climbers, are climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to
raise funds and awareness in support of people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    Climbing Kilimanjaro is the second biggest challenge Clinton has faced.
He was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at the age of 12, forcing the avid
athlete to miss months of school, stop playing soccer, riding his bike and
even hanging out with his friends.
    Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which includes two similar yet distinct
conditions known as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can be diagnosed
at any age, but is typically diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 35. These
diseases affect the digestive system and cause the intestinal tissue to become
inflamed, form sores and bleed easily. For many, the symptoms of this disease
affect their emotional well-being and quality of life.
    Fortunately for Clinton, with the help of his medical team, he is able to
effectively manage his disease symptoms, giving him the freedom to return to
his normal activities - and more.
    "Kilimanjaro isn't easy for anyone, especially someone with IBD, but
after the battle of a lifetime I have just endured I am glad to have the
ability to push my body to the limit and take on this challenge," says
Clinton. "My battle with Crohn's disease has given me the mental strength to
climb Kilimanjaro. To get the physical strength I need, I have worked with an
amazing team of doctors and fought hard to get to where I am. My Crohn's
disease is now well-managed thanks to one of the newer biologic drugs
available and is providing me the freedom to return to all of the activities I
love. I want to show anyone with an illness that you can accomplish your
goals, whatever they may be."
    Clinton is climbing Kilimanjaro as a part of a team of six people led by
Crohn's patient Rob Hill, who is the founder of the Intestinal Disease
Education and Awareness Society, or I.D.E.A.S. An avid triathlete, adventure
racer, climber and mountaineer, Hill didn't let having his colon removed, or
living with an ostomy, stop him from achieving his goals either. This climb up
Mount Kilimanjaro is part of his Seven Summits campaign - the Seven Summits
being the highest peak on each of the seven continents - in which Hill plans
to climb each summit to raise awareness and funds for intestinal diseases.
    "By 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," says
Hill. "'Changing Attitudes with Altitude' means changing perceptions about
people with IBD. It also means changing the attitudes of people with IBD about
their own quality of life, and inspiring them to strive for the best possible
treatment so that they can reach their goals, no matter what they are."
    The Kilimanjaro climb is raising funds for I.D.E.A.S. and the Crohn's and
Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC). On this particular climb, I.D.E.A.S. is
donating funds to programs for children with IBD, such as a summer camp for
kids who suffer from conditions like IBD so that they can enjoy outdoor
activities with kids they can relate to.
    To donate to the "Changing Attitudes with Altitude" campaign, or follow
Clinton as he trains for and climbs Mount Kilimanjaro, visit
    Clinton Shard's climb up Mount Kilimanjaro is supported by Abbott, a
global, broad-based health care company.

    About I.D.E.A.S.

    I.D.E.A.S. is a non-profit organization working to make Canadians aware
of the issues faced by people living with intestinal disease. IBDAdventures
was started to raise funds to support children and young adult programs
organized by I.D.E.A.S. and the CCFC. Their mission is to raise awareness of
youth with IBD to ensure youth with IBD are supported.

For further information:

For further information: Morgan Cates, Fleishman-Hillard, (416)
620-1916, morgan.cates@fleishman.ca

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