Susan Spann is an author, cancer survivor, and newly minted adventurer. Despite all that life has thrown at her, Susan continues to Reach. Her No Barriers pledge is to summit all 100 of the Nihon Hyakumeizan (100 famous mountains of Japan). If successful, she’ll be the first cancer survivor to do so within a year of completing treatment. Her commitment to use No Barriers as a map to pursue her pledge is inspiring. Please read and share her story: 

“I originally decided to climb the hyakumeizan two years ago – I’d spent my whole life (46 years to date) “living safe” instead of following my dreams, because I was too afraid of failure to ever try. I read your first book about climbing Everest several years ago – and almost every other major mountain climbing book that’s been published – but always thought “real mountains” were too difficult for an overweight, middle-aged lawyer/author to climb.

But then, at the age of 45, I made the decision to break through the barrier which fear had placed over my entire life to date and pursue my dreams of mountain climbing in Japan. I trained for a year, lost 45 pounds, and signed a contract with my publisher to write a book about the journey.

Then, two months before I was scheduled to leave for Japan to begin the hyakumeizan climbs (and the week after signing the book contract – because life’s timing is nothing if not awkward), I was diagnosed with breast cancer (Stage 1, but aggressive). 

a closeup photo of susan on the summit of mount zao where you can see her almost bald head under her hiking hat
On the summit of Mount Zao (almost-bald under her hiking hat from the chemotherapy treatments).















In May 2018, seven months, almost to the day, after that diagnosis (and two weeks after the CT scan pronounced my body clear of cancer) I stood on top of the first of the hundred summits. Your latest book, NO BARRIERS, gave me so much encouragement during the first few climbs, and continues to encourage and inspire me as I continue climbing in Japan.”

a photo of susan on the summit of mount daibosatsu her second mountain which she climbed almost a month to the day after finishing chemotherapy for breast cancer
Susan on the summit of Mount Daibosatsu (her second Hyakumeizan) almost a month to the day after finishing chemotherapy for breast cancer




a photo of susan on the summit of mount hachimantai
Susan on the summit of Mt. Hachimantai























To start your own journey: Take the No Barriers Pledge:

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Learn more about Susan and her books: