Founder, Chronically Better You and BrianGreenberg.blog
HealthCentral Social Ambassador, Remedy Health Media
Inspiring and Helping Ostomy Patients
While in college, Brian Greenberg endured 13 surgeries in 19 months as he grappled with Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that caused him pain, fatigue, diarrhea, and the frustration and discomfort of periodic accidents. After some ups and downs, and more surgeries throughout his 20s, Brian arrived at the only real solution to lead a normal life, an ostomy. “Ostomy” is a word that evokes visions of elderly people emptying bags—which is the very stigma that plagued Brian’s decision—and, as it turns out, everyone with severe Crohn’s disease.
But finally, for the first time since he was diagnosed at the age of 11, Brian had his life back. Now four years with a permanent ostomy, he is a patient expert, social ambassador, and regular contributor to Remedy Health Media’s HealthCentral. As a HealthCentral Live Bold, Live Now Patient Hero and IBD: Crohn’s and Colitis Social Ambassador, Brian has shared his personal story and advice to others through the Live Bold, Live Now Storytelling initiative. Brian’s story has reached more than 10,000 individuals since its publication in 2016. Additionally, Brian’s engagement with the IBD community as a Social Ambassador contributed to a 24% YOY fan growth for HealthCentral’s IBD Facebook page.
To further help those with chronic intestinal illnesses, Brian launched the Intense Intestines Foundation. Over the years, the foundation has awarded 12 scholarships, 4 IBDebt grants, provided medical debt advice, and increased IBD awareness through numerous in-person and online events. More recently, he founded Chronically Better You, an organization offering those with all types of chronic illness a place to find the support needed to manage life with an illness, as well as tools to help guide them on a daily basis.
Brian continues to help others through his organizations and by sharing his story, while also serving as an inspiration to fellow patients. In 2018, the lifelong sufferer of Crohn’s disease crossed a full 140.6-mile Ironman finish, which just adds to his list of his four half-Ironmans, two marathons, and eight half marathoners—all serving as proof that a chronic patient with an ostomy bag can live a good life.