Cancer Survivor Mark Schaible Training to Climb Mount Everest
In 1999, Schaible, a former Air Force test pilot, was diagnosed with terminal Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, a form of cancer that affects a certain kind of white blood cell.
"I had cancer in my lymph system, cancer in my blood and about 96% of a bone marrow sample they took was cancerous," Schaible told the source.
After undergoing a bone marrow transplant and several different forms of treatment, however, Schaible was declared cancer-free, and he has remained healthy for more than six years.
Two years ago, Schaible decided that he wanted to climb Mount Everest. Although he did not have any previous climbing experience, he has been diligently training for the past year and a half, climbing the tallest mountains in his home state of Colorado many times.
"This is the pinnacle of what you can achieve if you really set your mind to it and you're determined to not let cancer lead your life versus you leading your life," Schaible told the source.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, approximately 1,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia each year. The disease is most common in people older than 65, although younger people may also develop the illness.
People suffering from Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia may wish to contact the American Cancer Society for information, resources and support.