A-Z Challenge: D is for Defiance: Defy the Odds

Need some inspiration?  Feel like you can’t get over that Mountain in front of you?  Well, everyone feels that way time to time so here are some inspirational examples, famous and not:
At only 13, Sean Swarner was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  He was given three months to live.  He survived.  At 16 he was again diagnosed with cancer, this time advanced Askin’s sarcoma, a rare lung cancer originating in the chest wall.  Only 6 % of people diagnosed survive.  Sean Swarner defied the odds.  He then defied the odds again years later by climbing Mt. Everest with only one functioning lung.
Swarner spends his time now climbing mountains and traveling around the world doing what he can to inspire others to not just fight but to survive.  As much as I admire Swarner’s devotion to motivating, I thought I would mention a few others, famous and not famous, who have also defied the odds.
A famous example is Professor Stephen Hawking.  In 1963 he was diagnosed with Amylotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  He was given only a few months to live.  Only 5% of people diagnosed with ALS survive for ten years after diagnosis.  He has survived what will this year be 50 years since his diagnosis and he has made a habit of defying odds.
You don’t have to be famous to defy the odds.  Both of my grandparents have done it.  My grandmother was diagnosed in January 2011 with Stage IV colon cancer that had already spread to her liver.  She had a large tumor in her liver as well as the cancer in and around her colon.
A 2010 article in the International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment lists the average survival time after diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer as 12.8 months.  Here it is April 2013 and after a few surgeries and chemotherapy, my grandmother’s PET scans show no cancer activity.
She is in her 70s and when she was diagnosed had just undergone a very traumatic event.  In the winter of 2010, the very night they arrived at their house in Florida to spend the winter months, my grandfather collapsed from a massive coronary and went into cardiac arrest… read more
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