He saves lives. And someone saved his.

Sean Sparling has dedicated his life to saving other people’s lives. After working for a decade as a paramedic, both on land and in a helicopter, Sean switched careers in 2003 to pursue his dream of being a firefighter.

It was in February 2011 that Sean began to experience swelling in his right testicle.

Within just three weeks, he’d undergone an ultrasound, been told it was testicular cancer, and had surgery to remove the testicle.

Two months later, Sean was scheduled for radiation. He was put through 20 grueling radiation treatments over the course of five weeks. Each treatment was only two minutes long, but they took a great physical toll on him, sapping his energy and leading to nausea, diarrhea, and occasional vomiting.

The effects of the radiation lasted for several weeks after he’d completed the treatments, and Sean says there were times he wondered if they’d ever go away.

But slowly and surely, they did. Sean says his battle with testicular cancer inspired him to live a richer, fuller life. He’s also resumed active firefighting and paramedic work. He’s taken care of himself, and now he’s getting back to looking out for others.