By: Sean Swarner
The 29,035-foot giant known as Mount Everest tortures its challengers with life-threatening conditions such as 100 mph winds, the dramatic loss of oxygen, snowstorms, and deadly avalanches. Climbers of Everest are faced with incredible dangers, but for Sean Swarner the obstacles he overcame prior to his summiting make his story even more compelling.
Sean isn't just a cancer survivor; he is truly a medical marvel. He is the only person in the world ever to have been diagnosed with both Hodgkin's disease and Askin's sarcoma. He was diagnosed in the fourth and final stage of Hodgkin's disease at the age of thirteen, when doctors expected him to live for no more than three months. He overcame his illness only to be stricken a second time when a deadly golf ball-sized tumor attacked his right lung. After removal of the Askin's tumor, Sean was expected to live for less than two weeks. A decade later and with only partial use of his lungs, Sean became famous for being the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest.
Sean's successful summiting of Mount Everest was driven not only by his desire to reach the highest peak in the world but also by his determination to use his accomplishment as a way to bring hope to others facing seemingly insurmountable odds. By showing those affected by cancer how he has conquered some of the most difficult obstacles life could offer, Sean inspires others with the will to live. Living proof that cancer patients can and do recover, his story will encourage those touched by cancer to dream big and never give up. Despite life's setbacks, Sean believes those dreams are always in reach.
Sean's story is not just about illness, heartache, and pain; it's about something greater. It's about hope. It's about helping others and never quitting. It's about personal battles with the elements and coming out on top of the world . . . literally.