Resilience is a sustaining factor to help someone to never give up. Resilience can involve faith, positive mindset, as well as a tremendous will to keep fighting.

Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Kageyama.

Mark lives in Southern California and at the beginning of 2021 was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in his bones, prostate, and lungs. He made a very important determination at the beginning of his journey that he would be healthy, survive, and be positive every day. He started a YouTube channel called 2BYourOwnHero to share his journey and to help people appreciate their life, their health, and embrace opportunities. Mark is forming a community of cancer survivors, patients, caregivers, and concerned people who are interested in learning more about the cancer journey.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?

In October of 2020, out of the blue, I wasn’t able to walk. I went to my doctor, and he temporarily patched me up. At this point, I decided to do a deep dive into what exactly was going on. After many invasive, inhumane tests by my oncologist, she finally called my wife and I into her office and told me, “You have stage 4 prostate, bone, and lung cancer. Your cancer is so bad that I can’t cure you. I suggest you get your affairs in order.” This essentially started my cancer journey.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

At the beginning of 2021, after my diagnosis, I made several critical decisions about my life. 1. I wanted to live. 2. I was going to live. 3. I had too many people in my life that I love so dearly, that I had to be around for. In early 2021, I started my YouTube channel, @2byourownhero. At first I wanted to chronicle my cancer journey, but also, I wanted to inspire people to appreciate their lives, and appreciate their precious health. Life is so AWESOME, that I wanted to help people to wake up and appreciate the life that they have, as well as to make the absolute most of every single day. I set my first goal, as to open my eyes on my birthday. I did open my eyes that day, and as a result, I absolutely knew that I was going to make it!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

My YouTube channel, 2byourownhero was started to help people appreciate their health and their lives. We all need to be our own heroes. In any type of health crisis, people need to realize the person who cares most about you and your well-being is…YOU! When dealing with a health issue, it is so critical that a person stand up for themselves, and not fall into just being a number in the system. Be your own advocate! Fight! Stay in control of your journey and fight for yourself!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There are so many people that I would need to thank, including my wife, and my two daughters. My older daughter, Lisa, actually dropped everything, and stayed with us for 2.5 months. Being with her was one of the greatest experiences of my life! I had the honor and privilege to get to know my adult daughter as an adult! She cooked for me everyday, and helped me with so many things, including helping me to start my caringbridge site, as well as my YouTube channel, @2byourownhero.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

Resilience is a sustaining factor to help someone to never give up. Resilience can involve faith, positive mindset, as well as a tremendous will to keep fighting.

Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different from resilience?

To me, courage is sustained resilience. Continue the fight, every single day…for you!

When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?

As a YouTube creator, I have had the absolute privilege to meet so many incredible people with unbelievable stories! One such person is Dr. Gary Phillips. Dr. Gary, who I did a 2 part interview with, has been to the ER 83 different times with life threatening situations. Dr. Gary has a beautiful attitude, is a man of faith, and is resilient beyond belief!

Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?

My oncologist basically told me that I had better plan to die. Fortunately, I did not buy into what she told me, and I decided to live! Every single day, I am so grateful and happy to open my eyes to a new day. We are not guaranteed anything in this life, so I am thankful for every breath that I take!

Did you have a time in your life when you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?

My greatest setback so far has been cancer. I would not wish it on anyone, but that being said, cancer has completely changed my life for the better!

How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?

My family is EVERYTHING to me, and I was resolute that I was going to live for them! I have always had a positive attitude, and cancer really put this to the test, and I am so thankful that this helped carry me through to where I am today.

Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.

1. Gratitude

2. Positive mindset

3. Consistency (everyday)

4. Belief

5. Hope that there is a real future. I live these things every single day.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I want to help make the world a better place. We live in such a negative, divisive world today, and it is so sad that so many people buy into this. If we want to help change the world for the better, it is up to each and every one of us. Let’s all do our share to spread joy, love, and respect to our fellow human beings! It could be something small…saying hello to a stranger, helping someone in need, etc. If it is to be, it is up to me! (Zig Ziglar)

We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

Harris Faulkner of Fox News. She just wrote a bestselling book called “Faith Still Moves Mountains”. I watch her regularly, and I admire her style, tenacity, and what she stands for.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I can be found on LinkedIn, YouTube: @2byourownhero, and on Clubhouse

This was very inspiring, Mark. Thank you so much for joining us!


  • Savio Clemente

    Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Media Journalist, #1 Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor

    The Human Resolve LLC

    Savio P. Clemente is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), media journalist, #1 best-selling author, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC.  He coaches cancer survivors to overcome obstacles, gain clarity, and attract media attention by sharing their superpower through inspiring stories that make a difference. He inspires them to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit and to cultivate resilience in their mindset. 

    Savio has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad.  His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.