Casey O’Brien

Casey O'Brien

Casey O'Brien, a native of St Paul, Minnesota, is a six time cancer survivor and widely recognized motivational speaker. After being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, an extremely rare form of bone cancer, at the age of 13, his main goal in life has become inspiring others. After having the cancer relapse in both of his lungs in high school, he made varsity football debut as a Placeholder. He checked into the hospital for chemotherapy the following morning. He later walked on to play football as a Placeholder for Coach PJ Fleck and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Casey played in his first career Big 10 football game at Rutgers on October 19th, 2019. His first play and moment shared with Coach Fleck were covered by ESPN, ABC World News, The Today Show, and more. He spoke in front of a national audience at the 2019 ESPN College Football Awards Show after receiving the Disney Spirit Award for the most inspiring story in all of college football. He was the keynote speaker in front of 2,000 people at the 2019 Big 10 Media Days in Chicago, and his speech has now been viewed over 100,000 times. He looks to spread his positivity, unbelievable resiliency, and motivation to succeed to every group he speaks to.

Most Requested Programs

The Three Keys to Overcoming Adversity.
Casey has taken the three most important traits needed to beat cancer six times and laid them out in a way that can be applied to any obstacle you or your company is facing. He shares stories from his days in the hospital and his time as a collegiate football player battling cancer. His story will resonate with any room he is placed in.


"I wanted to let you know that I received great feedback on our keynote speaker, Casey O’Brien, at MSHP’s 2022 Midyear Clinical Meeting. Casey was able to understand and connect with the audience which consisted of health-system pharmacists and pharmacy students. During his days in the hospital, Casey got to know and understand the role of the health-system pharmacists. Casey noted the importance that the relationship between himself, the patient, and the pharmacist played during his stays in the hospital. It was a very moving presentation, and Casey’s positive attitude provided the audience with ways to deal with adversity. I received the following comment from one of our members: “I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the conference. The keynote was fantastic! One of the best we have had, I think.” The audience truly enjoyed and benefited from Casey’s presentation." - Marcy Peterson, Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Casey was an incredible addition to our all-employee event. He garnered the highest rating of all speakers, coming in at a 9.3 out of 10, which is extraordinary! Casey speaks directly from his heart, shares humble and courageous perspective and engages the audience through video and pictures that tell his story about perseverance, the need to engage both your head and heart through adversity and a family’s love for one another. Comments from participants were all very positive including the following individual testimonials, coming from all ages, genders and demographics of employees listening to him:

  • Beyond excellent! His attitude and positivity are amazing!
  • Gives everyone perspective on how you show up and how that changes things
  • 12/10 AMAZING. In addition to his heart wrenching story he was very authentic. His story hit really close to home for me
  • Amazing, simply a phenomenal choice. He was so inspiring.
  • Great attitude when facing such adversity. We have so much to be thankful for in our everyday lives.
  • I took notes and I am so inspired by his attitude. I am checking mine twice now more than ever.
  • This hit home for me. So inspiring and truly humbling. If he can go through what he went through and have the mindset he has. We all can. He was my fav speaker yet!

- Julie, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union

“Casey spoke at our monthly company meeting and exceeded all expectations. Casey captivated our team with his inspiring story, with our team members crying, laughing, and most importantly smiling. His message was multifaceted with tons of inspiration, teamwork, importance of family/friends, overcoming obstacles, and most importantly, living each day to the max. I highly recommend Casey."
- Blake Hastings, President, Oppidan Investments

Casey did a great job speaking at our event and left a lasting impression on our clients, prospective clients and associates. He is a dynamic and engaging speaker. His story is one of the most inspirational I have ever heard. He redefines toughness, grit and perseverance. The following are a few quotes from attendees:

“Casey O'Brien was so inspirational. What a great message during these times.” (Casey spoke at our event in May 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
“Closing with Casey was absolutely amazing! He reminds us all to appreciate how each day is a blessing.”
“I enjoyed the content and Casey just melted my heart!

- Justin Truckenbrod, Executive Vice President & Managing Director. Lockton Companies

“Casey was the keynote speaker to kickoff our annual RyanGivesBack week for our 750 person regional team. He absolutely rocked the kickoff! There wasn’t a dry eye, and he fired everyone up for a week of selfless and purposeful giving. He even sent a grad finale video from TCF Stadium to call for the final push we needed to raise the most in our 40 year history the event. Casey is a remarkable individual, his perseverant positive attitude is contagious, and everyone at Ryan is so grateful to know him and have had his support!!”
- Mike Ryan- President, North Region, Ryan Companies

"We had Casey speak for our annual convention in 2020. Casey's message was everything we needed to hear and ironically came just one month before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. His positive attitude and will to never give up were uplifting and inspiring for our entire audience. He made you think about life in general and about how little things we find difficult to do are nothing to sweat about. Casey received a well deserved standing ovation from our audience and stayed afterward to speak to all who wanted at the convention. I would recommend Casey over and over again."
- Dani Hennen, MAFMIC Event Coordinator