First Cancer Survivor to Summit Everest Bringing Message of Hope to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano
05/25/2011

PLANO, Texas — Sean Swarner survived two types of cancer as a teenager and went on to become the first cancer survivor in history to summit Mount Everest. And he did it with only one good lung.

On June 5, Swarner will deliver his remarkable message of inspiration and hope during Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano’s fourth annual National Cancer Survivor Day Celebration of Life event.

At age 12, Swarner’s dream was to become an Olympic swimmer. At 13, he snapped his knee while playing basketball. Within days, every joint in his body had swelled, and Swarner was diagnosed with advanced stage IV Hodgkins lymphoma. He was given three months to live.

After a year of chemotherapy, Swarner went into remission. Then at age 16, physicians found a mass in his lung and diagnosed him with Askins sarcoma. This time, he was given only 14 days to live.

“The human body can live for about 30 days without food, the human condition can sustain itself for roughly three days without water, but no human can live for more than 30 seconds without hope, because without hope we truly have nothing,” Swarner said.

Despite tremendous odds against survival, Swarner found the will to live, and he has continued to take on new and greater challenges. In 2008, he finished the Hawaii Ironman. Today, he is preparing for two mountain climbs and treks to the North and South Poles. When finished, he will be one of only a handful of people in history to accomplish the “Adventure Grand Slam” — summiting the highest peak on each of the world’s seven continents and trekking to the North and South Poles.

“We are so thrilled and so blessed to welcome Sean to Plano and share time with him and hear his incredible story,” said Carinsa Gaston, oncology program manager for Texas Health Plano.

Swarner has dedicated his life to reaching those affected by cancer with his message of hope. He co-founded the CancerClimber Association, a non-profit organization with a mission to help people touched by cancer by encouraging active, healthy lifestyles. Texas Health Plano’s free “Celebration of Life” event is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 5, and is for cancer survivors and their families and friends. It will be held at Texas Health Plano, 6200 West Parker Road, in the first floor lobby of Tower C.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano is a 368-bed acute care hospital and recognized clinical program leader, providing technologically advanced care to Plano and surrounding areas since 1991. The hospital’s services include orthopedics, cardiovascular services, oncology, pediatrics and women’s services. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Plano has more than 1,600 employees and 1,200 physicians on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Plano.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.