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Alan Hobson  

Author, Mt. Everest Climber & Cancer Survivor

At the age of 29, international bestselling author and worldwide adventurer Alan Hobson set out to realize his greatest childhood dream.

It took him 10 grueling self-guided and self-organized expeditions to high altitude, including three expeditions to Mt. Everest, each of which required $250,000 to $500,000 in fundraising, to ultimately realize his dream. When he finally stood on top of the world, the tears of elation froze to his face. He could actually see the curvature of the Earth as the horizon bent in his peripheral vision at 29,035 feet (8,852 m). “Half the dream is done,” the then 39-year-old radioed to base camp as his voice cracked with emotion. “If we’re persistent enough, we can do the dreams.”

Three years later after stepping down from the top of the world, he found himself at the bottom when, In August 2000, at 42, he was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer of the blood and given less than a year to live. Using the hard-won lessons he learned on Everest, he chose to ignore solid medical evidence that there was an 85 per cent chance he would die. He is now one of less than a few dozen people in the world ever to regain an elite level of fitness after an adult blood stem cell transplant for acute leukemia and has been leukemia-free for over decade. In 2010, however, he was again diagnosed with cancer, this time with squamous cell carcinoma. After minor surgery, he was back cross-country skiing within a week. He is now considered to be medically cured and has no lasting significant side effects from either of his cancers or cancer treatments.

Hobson’s achievements go far beyond his inner and outer adventures. He is the international bestselling author of half a dozen books, a former nine-time All-American gymnast, marathon runner, hang glider pilot, white water kayaker, parachutist, journalist, and winner of the prestigious William Randolph Hearst Award for Excellence in News Writing. He has scuba dived beneath the ice of frozen mountain lakes in the dead of the Canadian winter, visited sunken wrecks in Lake Geneva, and executed numerous night dives in the frigid and turbulent waters of the north Atlantic. He is a tough man for tough times – an expert at overcoming adversity, managing cataclysmic change, and enduring hostile and life-threatening operating conditions.

Alan’s next expedition is the one he’s currently on – to continue his miraculous climb back from cancer, and help as many other cancer patients, survivors and caregivers as possible do the same. Together with his former wife, Cecilia, they have written a landmark book, “Climb Back from Cancer – Introducing The 10 Tools of Triumph for Survivors and Caregivers,” Alan’s sixth.

On stage, Alan mesmerizes his speaking audiences with his riveting custom-built presentations. Using his exhaustive 5-step personal preparatory research process, he is able to make every presentation a one-of-a-kind experience that speaks directly to the specific needs of each group. This approach is unparalleled by any other presenter in the world and has earned him the distinctive title of “The Best Speaker in the World at Creating Custom-Built Presentations.”

Speech Topics


Turning Crisis into Opportunity

It happens to everyone. You establish a goal, but fall short of achieving it. You try again, but a competing priority suddenly requires you to shift your focus, or your resources. Then, you finally succeed, only to be blindsided by the unexpected. Alan Hobson faced all of these situations on his three expeditions to Mt. Everest and while climbing back from cancer. In his spellbinding personalized presentations, he draws invaluable connections between the priceless lessons of his life experiences and the challenges we all face in our personal and professional lives.

Bouncing Back from Setbacks

After more than a decade of preparation, Alan Hobson's first expedition to Mt. Everest missed the summit by 3,000 feet when his team's high camp was blasted off the mountain by hurricane-force winds. Instead of giving up on his goal, he used his hard-won lessons to begin again more intelligently. Alan inspires audiences to learn from setbacks and come away with smarter solutions for achieving their objectives.

Adapting to the Unexpected

Hobsons second Everest attempt missed the summit by just two city blocks when the expedition's lead climber came down with life-threatening high altitude sickness. Alans team worked for 33 continuous hours and saved the mans life, but it meant postponing the achievement of their goal. Discouraged, but not defeated, he walked away again with another set of precious lessons and started over with renewed determination. In todays tough economic times, instant adaptability and psychological resilience are essential to success. Alan shows audiences how to rise to the challenge of cataclysmic change and effectively re-prioritize without losing sight of their mission, vision and objectives.

Executing with Excellence

After almost two decades of preparation, an experienced Alan Hobson finally reached the summit of Mt. Everest during his third expedition. It was a true triumph of tenacity. Alan shows audiences that even when times are hard, if we remain focused on executional excellence and relentless improvement, we can achieve our goals. His powerful personal example resonates on an individual and organizational level.

Climb Back!

Three years after Everest, Alan faced his biggest mountain. Diagnosed with acute leukemia (an aggressive cancer of the blood) and given less than a year to live, once again, he never gave up. Today, he is one of less than a few dozen people ever to achieve an elite level of fitness after an adult blood stem cell transplant to eradicate the disease. He has now been cancer-free for more than nine years and is officially medically cured.

Triumphing in Tough Times

In todays environment of uncertainty and change, Alans messages could not be more timely. He offers practical tools for managing the unexpected, as well as those challenges we can more easily predict. His hard-won wisdom has real world relevance, applicability and power. He is a tough man for tough times and a master at building bridges between where you are now and where you want to be the perfect guide for anyone facing an avalanche of unknowns and a mountain of change and uncertainty. Its time to triumph over change, turn crisis into opportunity and get back on top!

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