Kyle Garlett: Heart of Iron


By the age of 35, Kyle Garlett had survived cancer four times, 54 months of chemotherapy and radiation, hip and shoulder replacements, a bone marrow transplant and had spent five years on a heart transplant waiting list.

When he finally got his new heart, he made a decision while he was still in the hospital recovering. He wanted to try a triathlon.

That first tri was a short one, but it got him hooked on the sport. He says after nearly 20 years of constant health issues, it was such a wonderful feeling to feel healthy and strong again.

Before he knew it, he was in Hawaii, competing in his first Ironman Triathlon. For the uninitiated, an Ironman triathlon is a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, followed by a full marathon — all 26.2 miles!

And Kyle did it with his new heart.

He writes about his experiences in his book, “Heart of Iron: My Journey From Transplant Recipient to Ironman Triathlete.”

Why does he push himself and his body to the limits? He says after a lifetime of wondering if he’d survive, these days, he feels like he’s playing with house money.

Find out why he never once thought “why me” during his repeated cancer battles and why he thinks cancer was the best — and worst — thing to ever happen to him.

Kyle is also proving what’s possible to other transplant recipients. He explains why he organized a relay team of other recipients for a major triathlon and how he pays tribute to donors’ families.

Plus, Kyle shares his unique take on the old “live each day as if it’s your last” philosophy. He wants us to start looking at each day as our first, not last. Kyle explains.

Want to hear more from Kyle? Click here to listen to our 2009 interview with him.