Jul 22, 2020
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Cancer Survivors and Hikers Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro To Memorialize Those Touched by Cancer

HOPE. A small word with huge importance.

This year The CancerClimber Association is taking an expedition team to Africa to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The group will be composed of cancer survivors and hikers honoring those touched by someone they have known who has been touched by cancer and are raising funds to send additional survivors next year for free as part of the CancerClimber’s Adventure Support Grant Program. This is an annual trip for cancer survivors funded each year by the previous year’s expedition team via donations.

The group was founded by Sean Swarner, a 2x terminal survivor, mountaineer, and author. Sean is leading the team, as he does each and every year.

A previous CancerClimber climb

Their group of cancer survivors and hikers will be carrying a flag to the summit where it will remain for thousands to see. The flag is part of the journey every year, and includes the names of loved ones, and friends, who have been touched by cancer.

The flag is also how you can be a part of the team and a part of the climb.

By making a donation you can add the name of a loved one, friend, or anyone you know who has been touched by cancer to our flag, memorializing them forever on the roof of Africa.

Where do the donations go?

Each year prior to the start of the climb, the team raises money for the following year. The funds cover the cost for a cancer survivor to join their team on the journey to the top.

"The human body can survive for about 30 days without food. The human condition can sustain itself for about 3 days without water, but no human alive can survive for more than 30 seconds without HOPE, because without hope we have nothing." -Sean Swarner

100% of the funds go to CancerClimber’s Adventure Support Grant (ensuring future survivors this amazing, fully-funded trip of a lifetime!), development of their mobile camp for young adults with cancer, personal visits to patients to inspire HOPE, and inspiring all those touched by cancer to focus on LIVING!

***See the video below taken from a previous CancerClimber climb.

How much do you need to donate?

To include a name on the flag, you can donate as little as $1. For those who donate $50 or more, their team will send you a signed photo of their team with the flag at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. For those who donate $100 or more, they will receive inclusion of loved one’s names on the flag, the signed photo, and a copy of the HOPE flag.

Sean Swarner and team with the HOPE flag prior to trekking it to the North Pole
If you would like to donate and share a name, you can do that here.

Meet the Founder, Sean Swarner

Sean is no stranger to cancer or climbing. At the age of 13 Sean was playing basketball when he heard a pop in his knee. The next day his legs were swollen.

A few days later, Sean was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma and given a prognosis of three months to live. He immediately began aggressive treatment and added 60+ pounds to his small 13-year old body from the various steroids.

Sean as a teen with cancer (left) and Sean after climbing Mount Everest and in remission (right)

A year after his diagnosis, Sean was in remission. He did his best to go back to a normal life and do what regular teenage boys do, such as participate in sports and school activities.

Just under two-years after beating stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Sean went in for a routine checkup and was told that they found a new cancer. This cancer was unrelated to his previous diagnosis of Hodgkin's lymphoma, it was Askin’s sarcoma and it has a six percent survival rate.

Sean was given 14 days to live and started treatment immediately. The goal  was to extend his life as long as possible. The chemo was so intense that he was put into a medically induced coma for each cycle and the radiation was so severe that he lost the use of one of his lungs.

As if a miracle happened, Sean beat cancer, again. He went on to finish high school and into college where he focused on having fun being normal. There he was driven to study psychology so he could eventually help other cancer patients.

Sean’s passion for helping others find hope brought him to his greatest adventure, climbing Mount Everest where he could scream hope from the highest platform in the world. And he did.

"All of us are alive, but not everyone is truly LIVING" -Sean Swarner.

Since Everest, Sean has gone on to become the world’s first cancer survivor to complete the Explorer’s Grand Slam—scaling the highest point on all seven continents and then hiking to the North and South Poles. On his trip to the North Pole, he carried a massive flag with names of thousands of people touched by cancer.

His journey to the North Pole was covered in a documentary, True North, available on Amazon Prime. Watch the trailer above.

The mission: To help those touched by cancer by focusing on living an active, healthy lifestyle. To learn more about CancerClimber, the mobile camp, how to get involved, or information on the upcoming trek, please visit us at http://www.cancerclimber.org, www.seanswarner.com, or at info@cancerclimber.org

How you can help

Donate and submit the names of those you know who were touched by cancer here:


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Sean Swarner at the North Pole

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