We speak with two men who have Crohn's disease to learn more about how their illness initially affected their lives and how they manage it today.
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Rebecca: To be streaked in with a chronic disease at a young age changes one’s whole life. But it definitely doesn’t have to stand in the way. Hi I'm Rebecca and welcome to Watchmojo.com. And today we’re speaking with Rob Hill and Clinton Shard, two men who have overcome Inflammatory Bowel Disease to take on the world. When and how did you first discover you had the Crohns disease? Rob Hill: 23 years old. It just hit me all of a sudden. I went from GP to GI gastroenterologist, specialist in the field and then right into emergency and that’s how I found out I had Crohns. Rebecca: How did it affect your life at first? Clinton Shard: The initial things were I had to stop all my regular activities—running, biking. I live in a very active community, so I just stopped my rock climbing and not even hanging out with friends because I was just too tired. I slept everyday after school. So I just wasn’t able to do the regular things that I used to do. Rob Hill: I went from usually active to almost nothing. You know trying to strive just to get by day to day. I watched my body just disappear really to survived because I couldn’t take any nutrients. Clinton Shard: The key thing is to stay positive, but it was really difficult to just keep pushing on when you knew that you're going to have this for the rest of your life. And I was really wondering if I was ever going to be well again. Rebecca: How was your IBD treated? Clinton Shard: I went through a whole different array of drugs some which includes steroids, which made my face actually quite puffy. It was kind of funny but in a way it was just really sad to see what was going on with my body. But now I'm on a drug called Humira which has made me very healthy. Rob Clinton: At the time they didn’t have the advancement that they had now, so I ran through a course of drugs. There is a heavy steroid that you can take to try to put in remission, which nothing really worked for me and I actually had to undergo surgery to have the disease removed. Rebecca: How would say you turned things around in terms of health and attitude? Rob Hill: My physical fitness came back really quickly. It was amazing the memory that your body has to where it’s been and how fit it has been. And so I just started focusing on training again. I was in the middle of training and actually got hit by a car on my bike training for triathlon. I realized this is a lot more than just a physical disease it’s really mental as well. So that’s when I started rebuilding myself at that level and that just came through finding the right support and talking to other patients and figuring out where I could take this once I've got physically healthy again and mentally healthy. Clinton Shard: Just staying healthy, eating healthy, staying active and just making sure I take all my medications and that’s what really keeping me on a good track. Rebecca: Is there anything that you now cannot do? Clinton Shard: No, sky is the limit. I can do anything I want to.