Marine Corps Veteran Goes from Terminal Cancer Diagnosis to Ironman in 10 Months

Here’s an inspiring story for you. Clayton Treska, a Marine Corps vet who served in the Gulf War, was diagnosed with Stage 1 testicular cancer is 2008. He underwent chemotherapy and was declared in remission. Treska decided he wanted to fulfill two goals: completing an Ironman and going to college. But two years later the cancer came back–far worse than before. Stage IV Terminal Cancer. The doctors thought he wouldn’t make it. But Treska decided to undergo an experimental treatment…and didn’t give up on his dream of completing an Ironman either. He trained while undergoing the treatment…while still in the hospital. And 10 months after his diagnosis, he crossed that finish line where few have traveled.

You can watch him in action in this video:

As the video alludes to, Treska wasn’t sure if/when the cancer would come back. And tragically it has; he’s currently fighting another bout of it. Treska has made it his mission to help, inspire, and offer resources to other folks who are dealing with cancer. You can help him and others like him by donating to causes like Movember (tomorrow’s the last day)!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Johnny Dangereaux November 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Look up
“World Without Cancer”
The Story of Vitamin B17
by G. Edward Griffin
at the website above…..

Thom November 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Odd coincidence: I received an email today from about Clay Treska and his battle with the VA. A few hours later I found this AoM article in my newsfeed. Anyone wanting more information and/or who would like to sign the petition please visit the site below. This veteran served our country, deploying twice to Iraq. He should not be treated this way.

“But now the cancer may be back a third time and is the growth around his spine is extremely aggressive, and the Veterans Administration won’t allow him to seek the experimental treatment which proved successful before. Rather than sign the medical release forms he needs to seek necessary private care, they’ve told him he has only one choice if it is malignant: hospice care and death.

Jack Bennett November 30, 2011 at 5:52 am

Go Marine. I am also a cancer surviver and got myself in shape. I wanted to particpate in the local senior Oylimpics but old injuries have prevented that. I walk, watch what I eat and some light weight training.

Jason November 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I don’t want to start a comment war, but Thom appears to be only half-right. From the links he sent, it seems that the VA won’t PAY for the experimental treatment, not that they won’t allow him to pursue it privately.

Thom November 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

No worries, Jason. I don’t want to start a comment war either. I did a poor job of punctuating in my first comment. The last paragraph needed a quotation mark at the end. The entire paragraph was a direct quote from

You are absolutely right in that the VA can’t stop the marine from pursuing other healthcare options. They just won’t pay for it. IMHO (as a veteran myself) he shouldn’t be left with death or hospice as his only options after putting his life on the line during two tours in Iraq. Again, IMHO the VA should exhaustively pursue any means necessary to help him and all veterans.

Lewis norton December 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm


An inspiring story. Unfortunately your cancer is back but there is reason to be hopeful

Your will power is strong like like your body

Now it’s time to get off the toxic meds and start nourishing it with raw foods just as the good lord intended. Your body has the ability to heal itself given the proper nutrition

Ive known several people who have sent cancer on its way and now live healthy and full lives

Please check out the. “Gershon”. Clinic. For further info. There located in San Diego

Also.check out. “Markus Rothkranz”. Online. He is my new friend and has inspired me to improve my health significantly!

Good luck

Frank Martin | Modern Monkey Mind December 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Treska, in my humble opinion, deserves the bad-ass of the year award. Beating cancer TWICE and doing an iron-man? Definitely the most amazing thing I’ve read all day. I just hope the VA grows a pair of testicles and sees its way to helping him out. Its not right that he should serve so long, fight so hard, and then be told to lay down and die.

Chris December 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Good for Clay!! Don’t let doctors or the world tell you when to lay down. No matter what the situation fight until the Lord says its time to go home. Great story and will include Clay in my prayers hoping he can get the treatment he needs and deserves.

The Doctor December 6, 2011 at 4:45 am

Lewis Norton, that is highly irresponsible and dangerous advice to give.
There is a reason chemotherapy is toxic – it is because its primary target is fast dividing cells ie. Cancer cells. This unfortunately has a collateral damage effect on other quickly dividing cells such as skin and endothelium, but its efficiacy is proven, its not a 100% cure, but its better than the alternative.

Now lets look at your idea. You hypothesise that chowing down on a bit of raw carrot and brocolli will ‘cure’ him of this cancer, do you have any peer reviewed studies from a reputable journal to back your claims up? Because from the scientific point of view there exists no conceivable mechanism by which raw vegetables can suddenly make the bodys immune system decide to recognise that there is a cancerous mass of cells present.

If you know the secret to this, please forward your research to a reputable journal – otherwise don’t spread ideas that could lead to the deaths of desperately ill people.
This man deserves our admiration, not quack ideas.

Anthony December 6, 2011 at 7:16 am

The Doctor. I think you need to visit and see how some of these “quack” ideas work.

Candace December 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I wish that i could meet this man. I have been doing research on cancer and found out about this doctor in Houston Texas.

The Doctor December 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Dear Anthony,

Im afraid I find nothing on that site other than baseless claims, half truths, cure-alls and a poorly concealed attempt to get your money into his pockets by selling his “clinic” services.
If you have some concrete, reputable papers showing that these quack ideas work that have been peer reviewed and published in a reputable scientific journal, then please, lets see them.

The Doctor December 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm

The therapy this man advocates has no scientific basis, and a quick wikipedia search will show you that “There is no convincing evidence from randomized controlled trials in the scientific literature that antineoplastons are useful treatments of cancer and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved these products for the treatment of any disease.[1] The American Cancer Society has stated that there is no evidence that antineoplastons have any beneficial effects in cancer and recommended that people do not buy these products.[2] A 2004 medical review described antioneoplaston treatment as a “disproven therapy”.[3] Oncologists have described Burzynski’s research on antineoplastons as “flawed” and “scientific nonsense”,[4] and independent scientists have been unable to reproduce the positive results reported in Burzynski’s studies.[5]”

I realise one should not give up hope when dealing with diseases such as cancer, but don’t play into the hands of those who would take you for everything you have with their promises of ‘cures’.

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