Stripped Away: How Cancer Led This Climber to Embrace a New Sport

This short film is full of great storytelling: It’s pensive, deep, and immersive. But it’s part of a much greater story.

Ben Moon is a climber, photographer, filmmaker, and author. He is also a cancer survivor. In this short film, we get a glimpse into Moon’s life story from the moment he got his diagnosis to the moment he discovered a new passion.

“Life was pretty simple. But suddenly all that was stripped away,” said Moon in the intro to the film.

Moon went from van-lifing and nonstop climbing to slowing down in life, showing up for chemo treatments, shifting his perspective. He dove into portrait photography. He started surfing. In a circuitous way, getting cancer led him to find a new perspective and way of living life.

“Immersing myself in something greater than me somehow made it all feel magical,” he says in the film.

No matter where you are, what your focus is, and where you think you’ll be, know that all that can change. And that’s OK. There’s a lot out there in life, and Moon’s story is the perfect example.

For the full story, read Moon’s recently published autobiography, “Denali: A Man, a Dog, and the Friendship of a Lifetime.”

“The Lucky Ones” was directed by Jeff Johnson and produced by Los York Productions with the help of Rivian.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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