How a testicular cancer diagnosis led me to Mt. Kilimanjaro

Before scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro in June 2018, I’d never climbed a real mountain. I live in Beaumont, Texas, which is only around 30 feet above sea level. So, getting to the top of Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet) was going to be a real challenge. But after seeing two-time cancer survivor Sean Swarner’s story on TV while recovering from testicular cancer treatment myself last year, I was determined to go on a trip of my own one day to celebrate beating this disease. Paying it forward That trip actually came about in a funny way. After watching a video about Sean’s accomplishments, I’d sent him an email saying how much he’d inspired me. Because not only did he defy the odds by beating two different types of cancer considered terminal, he also completed the “Explorer’s Grand Slam,” in which a person scales the highest peaks on seven continents and visits both the North and South Poles. And he did it all with only one lung. A few days later, Sean emailed me back. He said he’d always wanted to return to Nepal, and he invited me to go with him as part of a joint fundraiser. My sights were set on going to Mt. Everest Base Camp at the time, so that sounded great. I agreed. Unfortunately, we ended up not meeting our fundraising goals, so we didn’t make it to the Mt. Everest Base Camp. But, each year, Sean takes one cancer survivor to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro for free through his foundation. And this year, he took me. To pay it forward, I set up another fundraiser that...