Listen to Episode 019 with Derek Fitzgerald here:
On October 10th, I was in Kona, Hawaii, volunteering at the IRONAN World Championships.
As I stood at the finish line, the clock approaching midnight and the 17-hour deadline for the athletes to finish the race inched closer, I saw Derek Fitzgerald cross the finish line.
I remember standing there - shaking my head in disbelief.
Why? Well, Derek Fitzgerald is a cancer survivor and heart transplant recipient. And, he was crossing the finish line of one of the most gruelling and physically demanding races on the planet.
From that exact moment, I knew that I had to reach out to Derek and invite him to share his story on the Unleash Yourself podcast.
And, today I'm incredibly excited to share this interview with Derek with you because it's a REAL story of courage, strength, persistence, determination, and the sheer drive to never give up.
At 30 years old, Derek had a large tumour removed from his stomach and was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
And, although the chemotherapy saved his life, it severely damaged his heart.
Derek had heart failure and needed a heart transplant.
"I was prepared to die. But, I didn't want to die."
And, on January 3rd, 2011, Derek finally received his new heart from an anonymous donor.
Since that day, Derek has become the first person to ever finish a full-Ironman after beating cancer and receiving a heart-transplant. Since his first Ironman in Lake Placid, he has completed 4 Ironmans - most notably the 2015 Ironman World Championships.
He now races with the heart of a hero and raises money for The Recycledman Foundation with every mile he swims, bikes, and runs.
"I'm still here. I'm not dead yet. So I'm just going to keep going."
Derek is so humble, grateful, and appreciative of his third chance at life and he shares all the details to his incredible story in episode 019 of the Unleash Yourself podcast.
Trust me, this is a story you NEED to hear.
More specifically, in this episode of the Unleash Yourself podcast, you'll learn:
- How Derek discovered he had a tumour the size of a grapefruit in his stomach.
- What happened to Derek when he was told he had cancer.
- A detailed and visual description of what it's like to go through chemotherapy.
- How it felt to beat cancer, but then be diagnosed with heart-failure.
- What it meant to Derek to receive a heart-transplant and why it was a bitter-sweet experience.
- How Derek felt after waking up with a new heart and what it was like running for the first time.
- Why you shouldn't focus on the mountain, but rather, your very next step.
- What it was like competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
- And much, much more!
This interview with Derek will keep you on the edge of your seat and hanging on to his every word.
Want more of Derek? Check out these links:
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