Ep 17: Sean Swarner on Surviving Cancer, Climbing Everest and Hope

March 24, 2015

When Sean was 13 he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Disease and given 3 months to live, he survived but then at 16 the doctors discovered another totally unrelated form of cancer, Askin’s Sarcoma and this time he was given only 14 days and was read his last rites. He is the only recorded person in history to have been diagnosed with both these deadly cancers, but again Sean survived. He then became the first cancer survivor ever to Summit Mount Everest. He has since climbed the highest mountains on all 7 continents, completed the Iron Man World Championships in Hawaii and trekked to the South Pole. He is the only person in history to have accomplished what he has. He is the author of the book “Keep Climbing,” and has been voted “one of the top 8 most inspirational people of all time”.


In This Episode:

  • A brief description of Sean’s most recent expedition to the south pole.
  • Hope. Everyone has their own unique struggles and challenges in their lives that they need to overcome, but hope is what connects us. During the tough times we need to maintain that hope, knowing that things are going to get better.
  • How hope helped Sean through his illnesses.
  • Cancer was the worst thing that has ever happened to him, but it has also been the best thing that has ever happened to him.
  • What’s truly important in life: Friendship, Health, Family.
  • The importance of living in the present and appreciating every moment you’ve been given.
  • It’s all about perspective, when you have gone through a traumatic ordeal and come out the other side, it’s up to you how you view what happened to you in the past.
  • “All people have to do is stare in the mirror and do some introspection”
  • The importance of embracing change and getting out of your comfort zone. Don’t be 80 or 90 and have any regrets or ‘what ifs’.
  • The powerful visualisation technique that Sean uses to achieve all of his life goals.
  • What’s the best piece of advice Sean has ever received.
  • What Sean would say to anyone struggling with confidence or finding it hard to believe in themselves.
  • What kind of legacy does he want to leave behind?
  • What does a fulfilled life mean to Sean?
  • What is 1 thing our listeners can do today that will have a massive positive effect on their lives?
  • Which books or resources have changed/had a big impact on your life?


Link Mentioned:

Video of the Cancer Climber Mobile Camp


Books Mentioned:

Keep Climbing: How I Beat Cancer and Reached the Top of the World by Sean Swarner


Connect with Sean:

Sean’s website

Cancer Climber Association website

Sean on Twitter, Facebook


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