From Stage 3 Cancer to TEDx Talks: A Journey of Resilience and Empowerment with Savio P. Clemente

Welcome back to another compelling episode of Boardsi Leadership Talks, hosted by the insightful Martin Rowinski. Today, we have the honor of welcoming an extraordinary guest, Savio P. Clemente, whose incredible story of survival and transformation will inspire and motivate you. Savio is not just a TEDx speaker and board-certified wellness coach, but also a media journalist, best-selling author, and a stage three cancer survivor who has turned adversity into a mission of empowerment.


In this episode, Savio shares his riveting journey from being diagnosed with stage three non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to becoming a symbol of hope and resilience. He recounts the harrowing experience of discovering his illness during a trip to Europe, the gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, and how he supplemented his treatment with integrative health practices to achieve remission within months. As of December 2023, Savio proudly celebrates nine years of being cancer-free.


Savio discusses how his battle with cancer shaped his mission to empower others, especially cancer survivors and leaders. He explains his “Aloha Reboot” framework, which stands for Acknowledge, Listen, Open, Harness, and Accept/Act. This framework helped him focus on healing and is designed to assist others in overcoming their own challenges.


Listeners will learn the importance of loving their inner stranger, as emphasized in Savio’s best-selling book. He elaborates on how identifying and accepting the parts of ourselves that we are unfamiliar with or may even feel ashamed of can lead to immense personal growth.


Martin and Savio also delve into the intersection of wellness and effective leadership, highlighting how understanding and taking care of oneself can significantly impact one’s ability to lead others. The conversation covers how mindfulness, gratitude, and a clear sense of purpose can elevate leadership effectiveness.


Through anecdotes from his journalism career, including interviews with celebrities like Venus Williams and Ice-T, Savio illustrates the universal nature of resilience and the varied ways people overcome personal and professional obstacles.

Moreover, Savio provides practical advice for those looking to transform their obstacles into growth opportunities. He emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, purpose, and structured planning to achieve success.

In the latter part of the episode, Martin and Savio engage in a light-hearted rapid-fire round, where listeners get to know Savio a bit more personally, from his love for chamomile tea to his favorite travel destinations.


As the episode wraps up, Savio shares his upcoming projects, including future speaking engagements and his ambitions to fuse technology with wellness to create innovative solutions for modern-day challenges.


This episode is a must-listen for anyone seeking inspiration and practical advice on overcoming adversity, personal empowerment, and effective leadership.


Notable Quotes:

  1. “Cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. I’m not just a statistic; I’m a survivor.”
  2. “To know thyself is to heal thyself, and if you don’t know yourself, there’s no way you’re able to heal yourself.”
  3. “It’s not about the question they’re asking, but the underlying thing that’s making them ask the question.”
  4. “Loving your inner stranger means accepting the parts of yourself you’re unfamiliar with and using them to rise stronger.”

Martin Rowinski (00:01.623) Welcome back to Boardsi Leadership Talks. I’m your host, Martin Rowinski, CEO of Boardsi. Today we have an incredible guest, Savio P. Clemente. Hopefully, I pronounced his last name correctly. Savio is a TEDx speaker, board-certified wellness coach, and stage three cancer survivor who has transformed his experiences into a mission to empower others. Through his best-selling book, media journalism, and coaching, he inspires individuals to love their inner stranger and unleash their full potential. Savio, welcome to the show.

Savio P. Clemente // TEDx Speaker, Journalist, Coach, Author (00:47.542) Martin, what a great intro. Thank you so much for inviting me. I’m excited to dig in. Let’s see where this conversation takes us.

Martin Rowinski (00:54.743) Awesome. Well, again, welcome. To start, can you share a bit about your journey from being a stage three cancer survivor to becoming a TEDx speaker and wellness coach?

Savio P. Clemente (01:09.27) Sure. To know that story, it’s almost like I was born with cancer. It all began in July 2014. I was on a trip with a friend to Amsterdam, Paris, and London. I kept getting night sweats and, after returning to the States, I realized something was wrong. A naturopath I consulted advised me to get a sonogram. That’s when I discovered I had stage three non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hearing those words was surreal. Within months, I underwent aggressive treatment and, by December, I was in remission. This year, while in India with National Geographic, I celebrated my nine-year remission mark.

Martin Rowinski (02:38.327) Wow, your story is incredibly inspiring. Congratulations on beating cancer! How did your battle shape your mission to empower others, especially cancer survivors and leaders?

Savio P. Clemente (04:08.982) Well, five years post-remission, I decided to dedicate my life to wellness and coaching. I obtained my board certification in wellness coaching and began sharing stories of cancer survivors. My editor turned those stories into a best-selling book. This journey culminated in my TEDx talk last October, where I introduced the “Aloha Reboot” framework. It stands for Acknowledge, Listen, Open, Harness, and Accept/Act with purpose.

Martin Rowinski (06:19.063) That’s remarkable. Can you explain your “Aloha Reboot” framework in more detail?

Savio P. Clemente (06:30.646) Of course. A is for Acknowledge where you are. L is for Listen to your inner voice. O is for Open to self-compassion and self-forgiveness. H is for Harnessing your wisdom, and A is for Accepting or Acting with purpose. This framework helped me focus on healing myself and can assist others in various aspects of life.

Martin Rowinski (07:49.047) Speaking of your book, you emphasize the importance of loving your inner stranger. What do you mean by this and why is it crucial for personal growth?

Savio P. Clemente (08:02.774) The inner stranger isn’t the inner critic or inner child. For me, it symbolized shame and vulnerability. Recognizing and accepting this part of oneself is crucial for personal growth. Everyone’s inner stranger is different, and understanding it helps in overcoming obstacles and fostering resilience.

Martin Rowinski (10:05.463) As someone who covers wellness trends, how do you see the connection between wellness and effective leadership?

Savio P. Clemente (10:22.838) Effective leadership is deeply intertwined with wellness. Leaders must find personal meaning and ask deep-rooted questions to understand their purpose and vision. This alignment fosters resilience and a balanced approach to leadership.

Martin Rowinski (11:38.103) You often say to know thyself is to heal thyself. How did this philosophy guide your coaching approach?

Savio P. Clemente (11:59.894) Knowing oneself involves listening to the three brains: head, heart, and gut. Each offers unique insights. For meaningful healing and transformation, one must first understand themselves deeply. This ancient philosophy underscores the importance of self-awareness in the healing process.

Martin Rowinski (13:31.319) Your journalism involves sharing resilience stories. Are there any particular stories that have profoundly impacted you?

Savio P. Clemente (13:45.718) One of the most impactful stories is of a pancreatic cancer patient who saw himself in the 2-4% survival rate. His finance background made him question why he couldn’t be part of the small percentage who survived. This perspective on resilience and purpose has profoundly influenced my work.

Martin Rowinski (15:28.855) How important is it for you to engage with your audience on a personal level?

Savio P. Clemente (15:52.214) Engaging on a personal level is key. During Q&As, it’s not just about the questions asked but understanding the underlying issues driving those questions. This engagement helps in tailoring responses that truly resonate.

Martin Rowinski (17:25.367) What upcoming projects are you excited about, and how do you plan to continue spreading your message?

Savio P. Clemente (17:39.382) I’m thrilled about my TEDx talk, “7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger,” and exploring new speaking engagements. I also plan to blend my love for tech with wellness, possibly forming a new company. Additionally, I continue to cover wellness impacts in different cultures for National Geographic.

Martin Rowinski (18:57.815) Lastly, what advice would you give to someone looking to turn obstacles into growth opportunities?

Savio P. Clemente (19:13.022) Firstly, ask if you’re pursuing something for yourself or others. Secondly, ensure that your work blends passion and enjoyment. Lastly, set yourself up for success by emulating those you admire and seeking mentorship.

Martin Rowinski (21:03.447) Alright, some quick questions. Coffee or tea?

Savio P. Clemente (21:10.326) Tea, definitely. Chamomile in particular.

Martin Rowinski (21:32.159) Skydive or bungee jump?

Savio P. Clemente (21:39.446) Skydive.

Martin Rowinski (21:56.215) What’s one country you’d revisit?

Savio P. Clemente (22:03.958) Greece, without a doubt.

Martin Rowinski (22:42.07) What’s the next country on your travel bucket list?

Savio P. Clemente (22:59.414) Japan and Singapore.

Martin Rowinski (23:52.759) If you had 30 seconds to inspire, what would you say?

Savio P. Clemente (24:21.014) I’d emphasize the importance of loving your inner stranger and having the confidence to know you matter.

Martin Rowinski (24:57.686) How can people contact you?

Savio P. Clemente (25:42.327) Visit my website,, subscribe to my newsletter, or follow me on social media at The Human Resolve.

Martin Rowinski (25:44.022) Thank you for joining us, Savio. Until next time, keep leading with resilience and purpose.

Savio P. Clemente (26:08.502) Thanks, Martin. It’s been a pleasure.

#Leadership #Empathy #BoardsiLeadershipTalks #MartinRowinski #NadiaLuna #LUSSOmethod #CorporateCulture #LeadershipDevelopment #PersonalGrowth #WorkplaceWellbeing #EmpatheticLeadership #TeamDynamics #ProfessionalSuccess #EmpathyInAction #HumanConnection


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