• Heather O’Neal


Spring 2002 Mt. Everest Expedition

Hello again,

Since our trip last September was canceled and it looked like the world was falling apart, I am happy to be going back to Nepal next Friday, March 15. On this trip I am taking two brothers, Seth and Sean Swarner from Colorado. Sean will be climbing Mt. Everest. He is a two time cancer survivor and hopes to be the first cancer patient/survivor to summit Mt. Everest. His estimated summit date will be between May 5 and May 23.

Sean’s brother, Seth, will (hopefully) be plugged into a satellite phone at Base Camp while Sean is climbing. Seth will beam live reports about Sean’s progress to their website, The other option is that Seth will trek a few days from base camp to a town that has electricity and a small cyber cafe at 11,355 feet. The connection there is slow so we are hoping for a satellite phone.

If you know of anyone who has suffered from cancer who may be inspired by Sean’s story and his attempt at the world’s highest peak, you can submit their name to be added to list which will go to the summit with Sean. For a $30 donation to Sean’s nonprofit CancerClimber Association the name you submit will be put on a flag which will inspire Sean to get to the top. Sean will put the flag on the summit, take a picture of it and leave it there. The photos will be sent to the people who donated to his association. With the $30 donation you will also receive Sean’s official Everest T-shirt. You can check Sean’s website for details. The T-shirts will be sent out after the climb.

Sean is on a mission to inspire people in hospital beds all over the world, to change the attitude toward cancer to one of adventure and adrenaline, and to demonstrate that there is life after cancer.

Both Sean and Seth will climb Island Peak on the way up to Mt. Everest. Island Peak is a 20,400 foot ice peak which will offer good training and acclimatization before Sean heads for the world’s tallest mountain. After Island Peak we will trek to Everest base camp at 17,500 feet and Sean will begin his big adventure. It will take many days of climbing, up and down, through the ice fall to camps 1, 2, 3 and 4, up and back for several long weeks, over and over again, sleeping at different altitudes, working hard until everything is just right. Sean must be well acclimatized, strong and in good health and the weather must be perfect. When everything is in place, Sean will push for the summit, from 17,500 feet at base camp to camp 1 at 20,015 feet, then camp 2 at 21,500 feet, then camp 3 at 23,621 feet, then camp 4 at 26,000 feet. Leaving from there around 11PM with his two personal climbing guides, Sean will head in the dark for the summit. One of his guides has scaled Everest six times. Not too many people can offer more experience than that. Sean will be in good hands.

After leaving Sean and Seth at base camp, I will trek back to Lukla and fly to Kathmandu. On April 29, I will meet Robin Potthoff at the airport in Kathmandu, and she and I will trek again to Everest base camp to hopefully be there at the same time Sean summits. I am looking forward to the trip and wish I could share the experience with more trekkers. However, it seems people are still stunned and hesitant to travel these days. I am happy with our small group, Sean, Seth, Robin and myself.

The Of Global Interest Random Acts of Kindness Fund Thank you for donating to the Fund. I now have $731.53 to take with me to Nepal to spend on random acts of kindness. Before heading to Everest, Sean, Seth and I will probably visit children and others who are suffering from cancer at the Kathmandu hospital. Most of the fund money will go to them. I am also interested in finding the young boy that we are sponsoring. Those who donated to the fund on my last trip recently received a progress report which sounded like Sujan was doing well. He is in nursery school. I hope to find him and learn more about his situation. I would also like to visit an organization that helps widows and another that helps young girls get out of prostitution. I will probably visit the home where the prison children are and look for the government funded orphanages for prison children that have opened since my last trip. Antonia (age 7), the young girl who stayed at the Trekkers Lodge Bed and Breakfast for the first overnight slumber party, recently gave me money to buy a blanket for a poor family and to take a homeless child out to lunch. I will take pictures and send reports to the people who donated money. Thank you for your donations. When I return in May, I plan to work on making this a non profit organization.

Himalayan Bazaar Is there is anything in particular you are looking for that you would like me to bring home from Nepal, Thailand or Korea? I’ll be in Thailand and Korea on layovers for a few hours and will have time to go downtown. Any personal shopping requests?

Stay tuned for the adventures from Nepal in my next Adventure Journals. Also check Sean’s website for information on the $30 donation and for regular updates on his progress to the summit of Mt. Everest. Thank you for reading and for your interest.

Sincerely, Heather O’Neal Of Global Interest LLC (734) 369-3107 P.S. Thank you to all the people who have recently joined my E-mail Adventure Journal mailing list. You can find past messages under the Adventure Journal Archives on my website. ( Please let me know if you would like to be taken off this list. Thanks.

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