10TV: Cancer survivor summits top peaks in the world to inspire others
Cancer survivor and former central Ohio resident, Sean Swarner, who is currently living in Colorado, came back to OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital to share his story and inspire others. Riverside is where his life almost ended, but he told 10TV reporter, Shelby Croft, it’s the same place his life really began. When Swarner was only 13 years old, he was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. While his peers were starting to learn about life, he was fighting for his. The cancer left him with one functioning lung and ravaged his lymph nodes along with every other part of his body.
But that doesn’t stop him. Some say he does the impossible. Twenty five years ago, he was told more than once that he only had a couple weeks left to live. Today, he inspires tons of people across the world. Swarner now travels to give speeches, write books and support the charity he started in the fight against cancer.
One of his many accomplishments the key note speaker talks about is doing what nobody else on the planet has done. Swarner is the only cancer survivor to succeed in finishing the Explorer’s Grand Slam, which is climbing the highest peak on each continent and reaching the North and South Poles. In his decision to climb mountains, he started with Mt. Everest.
“I wanted to use Everest literally as a 29,000-foot platform to scream hope,” Swarner said to 10TV.
He kept a flag in a pocket near his heart consisting of names of people touched by cancer. He planted that flag on top of Everest, and then planted eight others on top of each peak he climbed. Swarner climbed a total of 133,406 feet on his mission to fight the disease that has touched so many people.
Swarner had to overcome many obstacles to achieve, what seems like to many others, an unimaginable task. The treacherous climbs and freezing temperatures were no match for this survivor.
“People told me it was physiologically impossible to climb Everest with one lung,” Swarner told 10TV. “So I think my internal goal is to redefine that word because we’re limited by our mind, not by our bodies.”
With each climb, Swarner raises money for cancer charities. He leads a fundraising summit up Mt. Kilimanjaro every year as well.
For more information on Swarner and his inspiring accomplishments, click here.