CHICAGO (CBS)–A Northwestern graduate set to start climbing Mount Everest next month stopped by Lurie Children’s hospital to talk with some of the kids he’s dedicating his climb to.

Alex Pancoe wants to raise $1 million for the hospital. He dedicated his first climb to Serena Lewis, who battled a brain tumor.

Pancoe can relate to the kids undergoing treatment. The Highland Park native had a benign tumor removed from his brain.

Last month, CBS 2 showed you how Pancoe used Chicago’s deep freeze to test his equipment for the climb.

He leaves this weekend for Hong Kong, and then will travel to his base camp at Everest.

He’s already raised $400,000 for the pediatric brain tumor program.