2-time cancer survivor celebrates ‘hope’ through his mountain climbing efforts
summit daily news
To celebrate “hope” for all cancer survivors, and to bring attention to his cause, Breckenridge resident Sean Swarner is prepping to summit Carstensz Pyramid in West Papua New Guinea come July.
“I want to bring cancer survivors together,” Swarner said of his efforts. “Everyone is climbing their own mountains.”
As a two-time cancer survivor, Swarner had little hope he’d live to be an adult. Now 34, he’s using his brand new lease on life to inspire others – cancer patients, but also “really anyone with a pulse” – to live with passion.
Swarner has already climbed seven of the world’s highest peaks, and he was the first cancer-survivor to climb Mount Everest.
And, the CBS “Early Show” was recently in Summit County to film a profile about the philanthropist and adventurer in honor of his eighth Everest anniversary – May 16. The feature will likely run near the end of the month.
Swarner and his brother Seth started a nonprofit organization, The CancerClimber Association, in 2001 to “offer hope through inspiration” by raising funds, climbing mountains, putting on programs and visiting people who are touched with cancer. The group’s main goal is to give people the tools needed to overcome disease – like hope and inspiration.
Through his work, Swarner’s main goal is to climb nine of the tallest peaks in the world and plant a flag at each summit. The flag reads: “Dedicated to all those affected by cancer in this small world!! Keep Climbing!!”
In doing this, Swarner hopes he’ll motivate others and be a catalyst for change. He’s already climbed Mount Everest (Asia), Mount McKinley/Denali (North America), Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Mount Kosciuszko (Australia), Mount Elbrus (Europe) and Mount Aconcagua (South America).
As a fundraising effort for The CancerClimber Association, Swarner will also be leading a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro, including a safari.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said.
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