Rob Hill To Scale The Highest Mountain In Oceania For Intestinal Disease Awareness In Asia Pacific

-- Hero Ostomate Kicks Off Asian Summit Tour with the Local Hong Kong Stoma Association to Raise Awareness of Ostomies and to Advocate Better Support

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 8:00 am EDT



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HONG KONG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Intestinal disease sufferer Robert (Rob) Hill today launches his bid to be the first ostomate to climb the Seven Summits. This week, Hill will scale 16,023 feet (4,884 meters) to the summit of Carstensz Pyramid, the highest mountain on the Oceanic continent, located in Indonesia on the western end of New Guinea. He hopes the climb, which is the sixth in a campaign to reach all Seven Summits, will break the stigma surrounding ostomates and raise awareness of intestinal diseases in Asia Pacific.

Fewer than 100 people over the past 20 years have successfully scaled the Seven Summits; therefore it is akin to winning the Grand Slam of tennis for climbers. The feat is hard on anyone, much less someone without their colon, the organ that is primarily responsible for absorbing water and nutrients into the body.

Though it has been tough, Hill is nearing the completion of a five-year campaign he calls No Guts - Know Glory! to become the first ostomate to climb the Seven Summits. The expedition sponsored by ConvaTec, a world-leading manufacturer of ostomy and wound care products, marks the sixth mountain in the quest that grew from Hill’s love of sport and the outdoors. Through this campaign Hill hopes to show people living with intestinal diseases or an ostomy that they should still live their lives to the fullest.

“I know from experience that an ostomy can be debilitating and make you feel very inhibited -- physically and emotionally,” Hill says. “People living in Hong Kong also need to know that if they are living with these diseases or going through surgery, it’s important to know that you can get your life back. You shouldn’t let it define you.”

In Hong Kong, a number of conditions call for an ostomy as part of treatment and recovery. Pang Chak Hau, nurse specialist (Stoma Care) and executive member of the Hong Kong Stoma Association says, “Cancer of the colon and rectum, malformations present from birth, obstruction of the bowel and intestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, can all lead to an ostomy as the best and safest form of treatment.

“In fact, the number of people with colorectal cancer is rising, so much so that it may be the number one cancer in Hong Kong soon,” Pang continues. “Therefore, the number of people with an ostomy is also likely to rise.”

Unfortunately, many people in Hong Kong who have an ostomy are concerned with actual, perceived or anticipated prejudice they may experience. It is important to let people living with an ostomy in Hong Kong know that they can still achieve anything they could before their ostomy procedure.”

“There are about 2,300 ostomate members in the Stoma Association, but many more ostomates living in Hong Kong,” says Yip Chi Kin, chairman of the Hong Kong Stoma Association. People living in Hong Kong need to be aware of advocating a supportive spirit and network among ostomates to assist them to fully rehabilitate and re-integrate into the community. The Hong Kong Stoma Association hopes to provide the much needed support, share members’ experiences and information on stoma care, and encourage ostomates to resume a normal life”

“Achieving such feats as climbing the Seven Summits should serve as an example to other ostomates that achieving everything they have always dreamed of is still possible,” Yip adds.

No Guts - Know Glory Campaign Milestones

Hill began his No Guts - Know Glory! quest in 2002 and has scaled five of the Seven Summits:

* June 2002, Mt. Elbrus, 18,481 feet (5,633 meters), Russia/Georgia, Europe

* October 2003, Mt. Kilimanjaro, 19,339 feet (5,963 meters), Tanzania, Africa

* January 2004, Aconcagua, 22,840 foot (6,962 meters), Argentina, South America

* June 2005, Denali/Mt. McKinley, 20,320 feet (5,895 meters), Alaska, U.S.A., North America

* January 2006, Vinson Massif, 16,067 feet (4,897 meters), Antarctica

Hill currently plans to complete his campaign over the next year:

* April 2007, Carstensz Pyramid, 16,023 feet (4,884 meters), Indonesia, Oceania Carstensz Pyramid is technically the hardest of the seven summits and is the highest point between the Himalaya and the Andes; as well as the highest island peak in the world.

* The upcoming Carstensz Pyramid climb will not only be Hill’s most technically difficult climb to date, but only a few hundred people have climbed Carstensz due to the political instability in the surrounding area and the fact that it is hidden in dense jungle. The mountain is a steep, sharp granite wall, and Rob is prepared to climb in snow, rain, next to the last glaciers near the equator and Guinean tribes wearing traditional clothes.

* Winter 2007, Mount Everest, 29,053 feet (8,850 meters), border of Nepal and Tibet, Asia

For more information about Rob Hill, visit or

About ConvaTec

ConvaTec, a world-leading manufacturer of ostomy and wound care products with a 25-year heritage of caring about patients, is a Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY). Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical and related health care products company. For more information, please visit

About the Hong Kong Stoma Association

The Hong Kong Stoma Association is a registered non-profit making organization, and is the first patients' self-help organization in Hong Kong. It was set up by and for ostomates in 1979 with the help of social workers and medical professionals. The Association is currently funded by the Hong Kong Cancer Fund and the Community Chest. It is a member of the International Ostomy Association and the Asian Ostomy Association. For more information, please visit

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Heather Matwejev, Weber Shandwick, +852 6474 0825,; or Phyllis Cheng, Weber Shandwick, +852 6587 8066,

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