The Courageous Warrior
Two-time cancer survivor Sean Swarner is a living proof of triumph against all odds.
When Sean was 14, he was diagnosed in the fourth stage of Hodgkin’s disease, one small step from death. He was expected to live for about three months. A year and a half after chemotherapy, he went into remission only to be stricken the second time with a very aggressive, deadly tumour attacking only three out of a million people. An Askin’s disease tumour had attached to Sean’s lung and had grown to the size of a golf ball in less than four months. After removing it, he was expected to live about two weeks.
Approximately after a year and a half lying semi-conscious in a hospital bed and after more chemotherapy and even radiation therapy, he won his league track meet in the 800 metre dash.
Nearly 15 years later, and with only partial use of his lungs, Sean stood at the summit of Mt Everest. He is the first cancer survivor to climb the world’s highest mountains: Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Vinson Massif, Kosciusko, and Denali/Mt McKinley (highest peaks in Africa, Europe, South America, Antarctica, Australia, and North America). To most, this feat may have seemed impossible, but Sean learned at a young age that no challenge is too great, no peak too high.
This ambitious man observed, “Somehow I found the inner will to get up and get out of that hospital bed. You have one chance — make the most of it.”
— Sajith Cyriac