Laura Wolfe photo
By the time I actually went to the doctor, I was in pretty bad shape

When Laura Wolfe ’05 graduated from Albuquerque Academy, she had big plans. She attended Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance. She expected to land a job in a financial district in Texas, but things don’t always work out the way we plan.

With the shape of the financial industry in 2009, Laura wasn’t able to find a job in finance. Instead, she ended up returning to Albuquerque and accepting a position as an accountant at a radiology center. But, after four years there, Laura’s plans changed again.

In November of 2013, Laura thought she was coming down with the flu. “I had typical flu-like symptoms and I didn’t think it was urgent enough to see a doctor,” recalls Laura. But, it turned out to be much more serious than Laura ever imagined.
“By the time I actually went to the doctor, I was in pretty bad shape,” she says. She was admitted to UNM Hospital and diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. ALL is a type of leukemia that starts in immature forms of lymphocytes and causes the body to make far too many white blood cells. It is much more prevalent in children than adults, but according to the American Cancer Society, one-third (about 2,000 people in 2014) of the new cases are in adults.

But, says Laura, the good news is that ALL is also highly curable. After spending about a month in the hospital, Laura has been undergoing chemotherapy, on and off, for the past nine months. Technically, she is in remission, but because ALL is such an aggressive form of cancer, treatment must be equally aggressive. Laura should be finished with this intensive level of chemotherapy near the end of September.

“I am looking forward to resuming a somewhat normal life,” she says. This includes being able to play golf again (Laura was the 4A girls individual state champion in 2005) and participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk in October.

“This is a good way to raise money and awareness about my illness,” she says. Laura’s team, Team Wolfe, has about 30 members, mostly former co-workers at Radiology Associates of Albuquerque. The team has raised nearly half of its $7,500 goal.

In the meantime, she says she’s ready to pick up where she left off – sort of. Laura’s plans have changed once again. “I am actually thinking about going back to school,” she admits. “My nurses have had such a positive impact on me.  I think nursing may be a career that I can be really passionate about.”

If you’d like to make a donation or become a member of Team Wolfe, click here.  You can also learn more about Laura’s battle with ALL and make a donation here.