My survival story : what I learned from having cancer – Martin Inderbitzin

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Martin Inderbitzin was 32 years old, with a fresh PhD degree, a new job and about to start a new life when he was suddenly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had to go through surgery and endure nine months of radiochemotherapy. While coping with his new situation and challenging his many fears he realized how important his own state of mind was. In the middle of his treatment, when he was barely able to walk, he decided to sign up for a triathlon, despite never having seriously practiced endurance sports before. Today, he says this was one of the most important decisions of his life. With this new goal in mind he quickly realized the positive effect it had on his mental and physiological state. He tried to figure out how to‚train‘, while still being under treatment. After he had left the hospital his energy slowly returned and his training became more serious. Three months after the end of his treatment, Martin crossed the finish line of his first triathlon. Today, Martin is an enthusiastic Amateur-Triathlete, competing regularly in races around the globe. During his time as a patient Martin was inspired by stories from other patients who had lived through the same hassle. While crossing the finish line of his first race he realized that he himself had become an inspiration for other patients. This life changing moment gave Martin the idea to start his initiative: to collect and document cancer survival stories in the form of short videos and make them available to other patients and their families on an online platform. Martin Inderbitzin studied biology at the ETH Zurich and did his PhD in Neuroscience at UPF Barcelona with a special focus on artificial emotions and human computer interaction. After his studies in Spain he moved back to his home town Zurich and started to work as an interaction designer. In 2012 his dreams of a successful career were destroyed by a cancer diagnosis. While in treatment he decided to become a triathlete despite never having practiced this sport before. Since he left the hospital in 2013 he has completed multiple races and is enjoying his health again.

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