Profiles in Resilience


Adam Hom: Survivor & Thriver

By Christina Parker, One Summit Contributor and Team Leader

By Christina Parker, One Summit Contributor and Team Leader

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” The day was July 6th, 2018. Adam had turned seven years old and was celebrating his birthday at Legoland in sunny California with friends and family. It was a beautiful day, filled with cake and laughter, smiles and love…exactly what you would expect from a 7th birthday party. Little did the Hom family know, their lives were about to change forever.

A few days later, Adam’s parents, David and Lin Hom, received the devastating phone call. After countless long scans at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Adam was officially diagnosed with Stage 1 Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood cancer.

Lin: “It was the worst day of David’s and my life. As a mother, I couldn’t break down; I still had to take care of my family. That night, David and I prayed as a family. We turned to the Lord and just prayed.”

Adam was a healthy, strong child leading up to his cancer diagnosis. He loved to be outside, run, and play baseball. Little did he know, this news would put that all on pause and drastically change the next 18 months of his life…for himself, his parents, and his brothers.

During his battle against cancer, Adam had to adjust to a new life and new home – the hospital. Adam missed all of 2nd grade, and due to the intense chemotherapy treatment, he was unable to play baseball. Imagine a seven-year-old being told to leave all his friends, his home, and the sport he loved in exchange for white walls, constant beeps, and a new bed...a complete unknown. But Adam had help; his older brother Nathan sacrificed his summer vacation, winter break, and spring break to be with his brother at the hospital. Nathan would take Adam’s mind off his treatments by playing video games with him and keeping him company in the hospital.

Lin: “Adam is a strong child. Even at 7, when his Oncologist told him he had cancer, his first question was, “Can I still play baseball???” He had the best attitude and not only fought hard and never complained, but wanted to help the other kids at the hospital. He and I would collect hats and toys for the Oncology Ward, which brought so much JOY. Adam’s older brother, Nathan, was in 3rd grade. He played video games with Adam and would help where he could. Ben was only three years old, in preschool, and stayed with his grandparents during the weeknights so we could focus on Adam’s treatment. That was a rough time…we were in SURVIVAL MODE.”

Cancer is often associated with devastation and loss. It is a daunting battle and, very often, a long one. Amongst all the heartbreak and sacrifice associated with cancer, it is important to focus on the positive and hope that can exist during this battle. When the Hom family started their cancer journey in 2018, the first thing they were told was, “It’s all about attitude when you’re fighting cancer. Be cheerful. Be positive. Let your focus stay on surviving and beating this.” And that is exactly what they did.

Lin: “As a Cancer Mom, I know how much grief and pain one feels while fighting for their child’s life. It is important for families to see stories of HOPE and LIFE of children who have SURVIVED cancer. Rhabdomyosarcoma is a VERY serious cancer that has a low survival rate.”

After two dozen chemotherapy sessions, higher dose treatments, and proton radiation therapy, Adam survived…without a single complaint and the most joyful smile on his face. Adam’s Final Bell rang in November 2019. His cancer came as a silent challenger, an opponent he never expected and one he never prepared for, but he persevered and remained resilient throughout the fight of his life. AND HE WON. He and his family remained hopeful through the darkest times. Adam focused on others so that they could all fight and survive together. Even at the depths of his treatment, he still found the hope, energy, and love to focus on his newfound family...forging bonds with the children around him, encouraging them to keep going and never quit. He always tried to be a light during a seemingly endless darkness.

Lin: “Adam is now 12 years old and a Survivor and Thriver!! He is 3.5 years off treatment and doing GREAT! He loves school and his friend group. He plays baseball, tennis, and runs track. He got straight A’s in school last year and hopes to do the same in 7th grade. Most importantly, Adam is a Survivor. He knows the pain of childhood cancer and has seen his friends lose the battle at a very young age. As a family, we try to help other families that are fighting childhood cancer!”

Adam’s Navy SEAL Mentor: “It’s humbling to see Adam continue to display resilience and seamlessly transition from doctor’s appointments to baseball practices and summer camps. I’ve never once heard him complain! Adam is thriving as a ‘normal’ kid despite all the adversity he has faced in his young life so far! He is extremely smart (he wrote a book from the perspective of a kid going through chemo to provide inspiration to others through his own personal experiences). He studies math at a level above that of a standard 12-year-old.”

One Summit frames cancer as a fight, a battle to be won through resilience and a never give up mindset. It is a situation, a hardship, which brings out the best in us, not the worst. Adam never gave up. He and his family endured; they survived. They are now a guiding light for those who are experiencing what they went through, a mentor for other children who are at the beginning of their climb to the Cancer Survivor Summit.

Lin: “One Summit has been an amazing charity to our family. They are so encouraging and very supportive of families and siblings. We love the community they have built. It has been so fun getting to know our SEAL Mentors—they have been so kind and sweet to our boys: cheering them on at Little League Baseball Playoffs and participating in Rady’s Celebration of Champions Event. Adam really connected with them.”

To this day, Adam and the Hom family have a unique bond with their One Summit Mentors. They communicate on a regular basis and visit each other often. Whether cheering Adam on at a baseball game or visiting him at surf camp, their commitment to each other endures, fostering a strong and deep connection.

The Hom family continues to stay connected with One Summit and is actively involved with Rady’s Children’s Hospital. Additionally, they dedicate their time to volunteering for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Their focus: pay it forward.

Lin: “We praise GOD every day that Adam is ALIVE! We try to pay it forward by sharing Adam’s and our Family’s Journey to help bring HOPE even in the darkest hours. For families going through what we experienced—life stops when you’re fighting cancer, but focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. Life will go on.”

Adam said it best, “PERSEVERE. Defeating cancer feels really GOOD.”