Cancer survivor from Los Angeles in training to tackle Mount Everest

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Laurie Adami is preparing for an adventure of a lifetime.

"I am flying Kathmandu in Nepal and I am embarking on a three week trip where I am climbing up to the Mount Everest base camp, which is at approximately 18,000 feet," said Adami.

Everest will be a tough climb, but the 60-year-old Los Angeles native has overcome bigger challenges. In 2006, Adami was diagnosed with stage IV Follicular Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

"This doctor said to me, 'Oh you know what you have is incurable but it is treatable, its not curable and there is really only one chemotherapy for it and I give you a 50 percent chance you will be alive in two years,'" recalled Adami.

At the time Adami says her son was just 5 yearsold and she didn't want to leave him without a mom. So Adami turned to an oncologist who gave her a fighting chance.

"Over 12 years I had seven different therapies. Six of them did not work and sadly six times I relapsed," said Adami.

With no other options available, Adami was placed into a clinical trial for a revolutionary new treatment which would engineer her own immune system to attack her cancer.

"I was part of a clinical trial at UCLA in 2018 to receive a new immunotherapy called CAR-T which has finally put my disease into remission," she said.

Eighteen months later, Adami remains cancer-free and credits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for funding research into her her lifesaving treatment.

"They've donated over a billion for it to date, to blood cancer research," she said.

She is now giving back by training for Everest as a member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Climb-2-Cure Team in Training to raise money to support the organization's mission.

"Folks like Laurie help us raise critical funds that we put right back to work in those programs," said Dr. Louis Degennaro, president and CEO with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Since its founding 70-years ago, LLS has invested nearly $1.3 billion to fund research into ground breaking treatments and therapies.

With each step Adami is focused on regaining her strength and bringing hope to others facing their own cancer diagnosis. In April, she will travel to Nepal where she and her team will hike to Everest's base-camp.

"I kind of of view it as a parallel to where we are with cancer research. We are not done, we are not at the top, we're part way up. We've made a lot of progress but there is still a lot to be done," said Adami.

If you'd like to donate to Adami's fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, visit the nonprofit's website.
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