Share Your Story: Dean Hall

Cancer U Thrivers Podcast

Share Your Story: Dean Hall

February 1, 2022

Share Your Story: Dean Hall

In 2014, while still an active cancer patient, Dean Hall decided to inspire other cancer patients by chasing his dream of becoming the first person to swim the entire 187-mile length of the Willamette River, never guessing it would heal his leukemia.

  • 03:35: Well, I fell in love with soccer and so I played it constantly. 
  • 05:52: I became a therapist and started my private practice in this tiny little town,
  • 08:11: It never occurred to me that it came back bad because something was wrong with me. 
  • 10:06: Dean, you’ve got leukemia. 
  • 12:14: I was just in shock for about two weeks and devastated.  
  • 14:28: You’ve got to be the boss of your journey and your body and your future. 
  • 16:51: Did you ever do what would be considered traditional treatment? 
  • 19:17: I would sleep 20 hours a day. 
  • 21:20: Tell us about your first wife.  
  • 22:56: Then August of 2010, she started acting kind of funny. 
  • 25:52: I was astonished, and it is a real testament to her strength and her discipline. 
  • 29:44: All the rest of the time I’m just by myself feeling miserable both inside and out. 
  • 32:15: I started praying and meditating, asking every day for a purpose to just come forward. 
  • 34:08: If I’m dying, I want to die swinging for the fence. 
  • 35:30: The lymph system had pushed out all this poison that it had been holding and so I’d feel flu-like symptoms for about five hours after.  
  • 37:59: I was born only four blocks from the Willamette, so I’ve always loved this river. 
  • 40:17: After you did [do] this swim over three weeks, what happened? 
  • 42:49: Being in that cold water threw me into something called Radical Remission.  
  • 44:09: What is one thing you wish you had known at the very beginning of your cancer journey?  
  • 44:50: If you could only do one thing to improve health care in the U.S., what would it be and why?  
  • 45:49: Thriver Rapid Fire Questions.  
  • 48:23: Aside from Cancer U, what is one resource you would recommend for cancer patients and caregivers?  


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