Brian Greenberg was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the age of 11. At such a young age, it was a lot to deal with. He went through all the normal symptoms and treatments and while trying to be a normal 11 year old, Brian began learning how to live with a serious chronic condition. He still went out with friends, played little league, was an avid skier and liked to go mountain biking, but there was always the lingering question of when a flare-up would come and make him miss out on the activities he loved most
Later on in life, Brian’s battle with Crohn’s became more intense and he went through many more advanced symptoms, such as infection, fistulas, strictures and obstructions. Between the ages of 19 to 21, he had 13 minor surgeries for infections in a 20-month time span. As his condition worsened, his drive to challenge himself and his body became greater. He refused to let Crohn’s take over his life and his passions. It was during this time that his good friend invited him to go indoor rock climbing. He was soon bitten by the “Climbing Bug” and became a regular at his local climbing gym before tackling the outdoors. Shortly after his indoor climbing experience, he found himself climbing, hiking, biking, kayaking and doing every other outdoor activity he could all over the U.S., all the while fighting to conquer his most difficult obstacle yet: his illness.
By the age of 27, Brian has had two resection and by the age or 28 he had a surgery for an ileostomy. He believes that the outdoors has given him strength in his fight against Crohn’s Disease and being able to battle the elements outside and adapt to any situation has taught him how to go with the flow and adjust to everything that Crohn’s throws at him. It is for this reason that he started the Intense Intestines Foundation. Brian hopes to show other Crohn’s Disease, IBD and ulcerative colitis patients and their support networks, that the physical and mental challenge of conquering the great outdoors can lead to strength and endurance in their battle against their disease.
Here is some more of Brian’s story. Together, We Will Beat IBD!
To see some of Brian’s Adventures with IBD, please click any of the videos below.