At the time, it seemed a pretty lofty goal; to climb out of the hospital bed and crawl eight feet to the bathroom. A simple task by most standards, but not when you have life-ending cancer.
Compare that moment to being just eight feet from the summit of Mount Everest. In contrast, the eight feet to the bathroom was probably more difficult when your body is not up to the task.
It’s all relative now, isn’t it?
At just thirteen years old, Sean Swarner was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and given weeks to live.
At sixteen years old, Sean was diagnosed again with cancer, this time it was Askin’s sarcoma, one of the deadliest forms of cancer, and was given fourteen days to live.
“Located in the lining of my right lung, just under the ribs. It was bad enough that the same day they aspirated it to perform a biopsy, and they decided they had to crack my chest open and take out the tumor,” said Sean. “When I awoke I was told I had a 6 percent chance of survival and was given 14 days to live.”
“The crazy part is the two cancers are unrelated,’ says Sean. “As far as I know I am the only person to ever be diagnosed with both cancers.” The even crazier part is that Sean Swarner does not follow protocol or rules of life or death for that matter!
Sean redefined Impossible by becoming the only person in history to climb the highest mountain on every continent, trek to the South & North Poles, and complete the Hawaii Ironman – all with one lung.
“Every morning I wake up I tell myself this is the best day ever. I believe it. I mean, looking back at my life, how could I not?”
Sean Swarner is a living lunatic, I mean legend. An incredibly uplifting talk you’ll enjoy the first time and every time you listen…
The story continues on the Brink of Greatness Podcast…
The Next Leap Forward
“THE HUMAN CONDITION CAN SUSTAIN ITSELF FOR ROUGHLY THREE DAYS WITHOUT WATER, BUT NO HUMAN ALIVE CAN LIVE FOR MORE THAN 30 SECONDS WITHOUT HOPE.”
Every year, Sean gives a cancer survivor hope – as a guide and positive companion to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. “Taking people up Kilimanjaro, I see a transformation, it gives them the tools to say, ‘Hey if I can conquer that mountain, I can do anything.” Swarner shines a light for other cancer survivors through his foundation, the Cancer Climber Association.
I first wrote about Sean Swarner a few years back when I first started blogging about some of the coolest people on the planet. That first story on the Brink of Greatness is entitled, Sean Swarner Goes From Cancer to Seven Summits.