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Sean Swarner: the first cancer survivor to complete the 7-summits

Sean Swarner

The pursuit of climbing Mount Everest has claimed many lives. The 29,035-foot giant tortures those that challenge the summit with life-threatening conditions.

100 mph winds are common place, the low oxygen levels even at the base camp can leave many struggling for breath – and that’s before you’ve begun the climb. Add that to horrific snowstorms, and deadly avalanches and you have one of the most formidable enterprises known to man.

However, if you’ve battled cancer and survived, the idea of climbing everest along with every other large summit on the globe, becomes a walk in the park.

Well it does if you’re Sean Swarner.

sean swarner 2Sean isn’t just a cancer survivor; he is truly a medical marvel. He managed to overcome both Hodgkin’s disease and Askin’s sarcoma, the first person in the world to do so.

Initially doctors expected him to live for no more than three months. After defying their prediction and overcoming his illness, he was later stricken a second time with a deadly golf ball-sized tumor on  his right lung.

A decade later and with only partial use of his lungs, Sean completed the impossible and became the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest.

Sean’s dream was then to climb the highest mountain on each continent. A dream that came to fruition after he Sean successfully climbed Mt. McKinley, to become the first cancer survivor to complete all seven summits.

Read more about Sean Swarner’s amazing story in his 2007 memoir Keep Climbing: How I Beat Cancer and Reached the Top of the World.

[Images: Volition RX, Beltliner]

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