Woman With Rare, Fatal Disease to Climb Mt. Everest

A California woman suffering from a rare, fatal disease is about to embark on a two-month trek up Mt. Everest, KABC-TV reported.

Cindy Abbott, 51, has Wegener's Granulomatosis, which has left her blind in one eye and with joint pain. The disease, which only affects 1 in 20,000 adults, causes blood vessels to become inflamed, which in turn can cause severe organ damage. It is not uncommon for patients to suffer kidney and/or lung damage, but Abbott is not letting any of that stop her from achieving her dream of reaching Mt. Everest's summit.

"I just sort of ignore the pain, and keep climbing," Abbott told the news station.

Abbott must carry a bag of medication with her on the mountain, and she realizes she could lose vision in her other eye. She knows this will most likely be her last climb.

But, Abbott wants to prove to herself and others that "anything is possible."

"Don't let obstacles stand in front of you," Abbott said. "Live your life the way you want to live it."