On August 15, 2022, 38-year-old Adam climbed two mountains. The first was Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the contiguous United States, a brutal twenty-mile hike that spans over two days.
The second was more symbolic – a mountain of obstacles formed by a stage four cancer diagnosis he received last July.
After being misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for years, Adam insisted on a colonoscopy that ultimately revealed cancer, not just in his colon but also in his liver. Upon his diagnosis, Adam knew he needed to pursue care at the Leonard Cancer Institute – where he is currently being treated by a dream team of caregivers and providers.
Adam also knew that he needed a goal, something to work towards while undergoing chemotherapy. “I had to get myself into the best shape possible to battle this. Healthy body. Healthy mind. Healthy spirit. That’s why I decided to climb a mountain.”
Adam found that he actually felt less fatigued after a nightly walk or weekend hike, drawn to nature and being outdoors. In fact, his training became a form of healing during chemotherapy. Adam was building up his armor to battle the diagnosis.
And with the full support of his care team, Adam climbed Mount Whitney, defying what he thought was possible with cancer, and took in the view from 14,000 feet above.
“I want to thank the entire staff at the Leonard Cancer Institute: the doctors, surgeons, nurses and volunteers. I always tell them that my cancer battle is a team effort and I promise to continue doing everything I can to get better, under their exceptional care .”
Adam’s cancer journey isn’t over. But after making it to the top of the tallest peak, he knows he can handle any incline that comes his way, with our Mission family supporting him with every step.
Regular screening, beginning at age 45, is key to preventing colorectal cancer and detecting it early. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) recommends that adults age 45 to 75 be screened for colorectal cancer. The Task Force recommends that adults age 76 to 85 talk to their doctor about screening.