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Nov 2, 2018

In this episode we talk with cancer survivor and heart transplant thriver Derek Fitzgerald, of the Recycled Man Foundation and the Tin Men Endurance Racing. Fitzgerald was first diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2003. The chemotherapy he received saved his life, but severely damaged his heart and ultimately led to a heart transplant that he received on January 3, 2011. Along the way, Derek overcame severe weight gain and loss, a gall bladder removal, heart failure, diabetes, and twice cheated death.

The episode opens up with Derek Fitzgerald telling his story and then moves towards questions about how Derek Fitzgerald thrived despite the dire situation. We talk about the methods Fitzgerald incorporated into his life while adapting to life with a cancer diagnosis, then heart failure with an eventual heart transplant, and now, currently, thriving as a high performing Ironman athlete running a successful non-profit organization. Fitzgerald talks about building a life worth living and he teaches you how to build that life. He also talks about developing a healthy life. Derek also discusses how philosophies and approaches towards life change once you go through a life challenge. Fitzgerald also managed to make his interests his career and he tells us how he made it happen.

Note, in July of 2013, Fitzgerald became the first cancer surviver and heart transplant recipient to complete the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and the 26.2 mile run of the Ironman triathlon. Derek is the proud father of a beautiful baby girl. By competing in endurance competitions, he celebrates the new life he was given and does his best to honor the anonymous donor that saved his life. Derek states, "My goal is to raise awareness of the issues faced by those with cancer and organ failure, and help fund new developments in the fields of oncology, cardiology and organ transplantation...I run, I swim, and I bike because I can – because I survived. I do it to say thank you to all the people that supported me and to honor the people that didn’t make it this far. I do it because there are still so many that need our support. Everyone deserves a fighting chance – not just to survive, but to live."


Derek Fitzgerald on social media and his website are below,


Fernando Paredes

Todd Wiley

Learn more about becoming an organ donor,

Fighting For A Life Worth Fighting For - Derek Fitzgerald - 026

This episode is brought to you by Living Adaptive with Scott Davidson. Find Living Adaptive at, for more information. Instagram: