Aron Andersson (in english)
When I was seven years old, my parents drove me and my two younger brothers from Stockholm to Gothenburg where we were going to celebrate Christmas. After just an hour in the car I started to complain that I had a pain in my backside from sitting.
What no one realised was that this pain would only get worse, that it would begin to hurt so much that my mom had to take me to the doctor, who would say that it was just ”growing pains” and send us home. Unfortunately one week later, I got a severe fever and had to go to the emergency ward.
After many tests and x-rays, the doctor diagnised me with cancer. I had a cancerous tumor that was sitting in my pelvis which was causing the pain. A week later, on my 8th birthday, I received my first chemotherapy treatment.
The following years were full of treatments, both chemotherapy and radiation, but for all the doctor’s efforts, the cancer did not disappear.
There remained only one option to save my life: to operate.
I was in the operating room for more than 12 hours. When I woke up from the surgery, my life was changed forever. The operation had gone well, the cancer was gone but a number of nerves to my legs had been damaged and I was fated to a life in a wheelchair.
When people ask me what I lecture about, I usually say that I lecture about choices. The choices we all have to make when difficult things come up in our lives.
Do we choose to lie down, feel sorry for ourselves and see ourselves as a victim? Or do we choose to do the absolute best we can from our situation?
When I was 10 years old and wound up in a wheelchair, I chose the latter.
It would have been easy to choose to feel sorry for myself, to see myself as a victim and see it as an excuse not to live my life to the fullest. Instead, I chose to make the best of my situation. I chose to live life to the fullest.
Has it been easy all the way? No, not at all. I have been tried time and time again, failed more times than you can imagine. But when the going gets tough, I remind myself of that decision and choose to honor my word to myself. Choose to honor my word to the 10-year-old Aaron.
For if it were possible to go back to that 10-year-old Aaron today, I would be proud to say that everything turned out great. I could tell him that when he is 26-years old, he will be living a life that he loves, working with something he is passionate about and having friends who are always there.
I made the decision to make the best of my situation – what will be your decision?
ARON ANDERSON is not like everybody else. He does not have the same conditions as everyone else and above all – he does not do things like everyone else. For if you do things like everyone else – then you get exactly the same results as everyone else. Aaron goes against the grain, paving his own path and showing the world that anything is indeed possible. That it is actually possible to defeat cancer four times, to cycle to Paris with just your arms and that a man in a wheelchair can actually climb Mount Kebnekaise! And that, at the age of 25, you can in fact, already be a professional lecturer.