Next Monday, Sean Swarner will be running in the Boston Marathon, reports WTNH. He probably won't win -- but that's beyond the point.
With only one functioning lung, the 36-year-old Swarner is a marathoning miracle.
When he was 16, Swarner's doctor told him that he only had two weeks to live. He had been diagnosed with cancer -- for the second time in his short life, American Way magazine reports.
But instead of throwing in the towel, Swarner chose to fight back.
"I think I had two choices. It was either to fight for my life or give up and die, and I just don't think I was ready to give up," he told WTNH.
Steeling himself with a heart full of hope and eyes trained on the skies, Swarner -- who underwent years of chemotherapy, a lung removal surgery and a medically-induced coma -- would go on to become an accomplished mountaineer.
"I went from basically the bottom of my life, from fighting for my life, to the top of the world, literally," he said.
On May 16, 2002, Swarner became the first cancer survivor to climb Mount Everest.
Since then, Swarner has scaled the seven summits -- the highest mountains on every continent -- and he's completed the Hawaii Ironman, CancerForward.org reports.
Everywhere he goes, Swarner -- a recipient of the 2007 Don't Give Up Award presented by the Jimmy V Foundation and ESPN -- spreads his mission of hope and triumph.
"I don’t think any challenge is too great,” he told American Way."I want people to chase after their own dreams."
To support cancer patients and survivors, Swarner founded CancerClimber -- an organization that works to instill a sense of hope through physical accomplishments.
"His story was so inspirational," said Nicole Torrecampo, a 30-year-old marathoner from New York who joined Swarner on a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa last year. "I am so humbled by this experience, but anyone can do it. There’s nothing stopping you."