The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation is celebrating its’ 15th anniversary this year, with a focus on three keywords: CRYSTAL / CLEAR / HOPE. In conjunction with the anniversary, I’m planning a 15,000 mile Journey of Hope; a road trip up, down and across the 48 contiguous United States. The purpose of the trip is to increase awareness of cholangiocarcinoma while also raising money for the foundation. Additionally, and very importantly, I intend to honor the memory of my daughter, Sarah, who passed away from cholangiocarcinoma in 2018. Sarah, would have loved to do this trip with me!
In a variety of ways, HOPE is the keyword for the journey. As such, I wondered how many towns are named Hope. It turns out there are 50 around the world; with 24 in the U.S. and one in Canada. I thought, surely, I can get to 15 of them during my travels. A few days later I was reading National Geographic magazine’s February issue. It includes an article by Eric Weiner titled Are We Born to Wander? While reading the article, the following sentence really jumped off the page at me. It reads “I think hope lies in the very nature of travel”. Enough said!
To highlight the anniversary celebration, the plans for my itinerary include a number of activities incorporating the number 15:
- Drive 15,000 miles…hopefully!
- Interact with a variety of people across the country by distributing CCF swags at a minimum of 15 locations. This will include stops to offer hope for current CCF warriors/caregivers and /or give thanks to staff members at 15 hospitals/research facilities working on a cure for cholangiocarcinoma
- Stop in at least 15 of the U.S. towns named Hope
- Drive on Interstate 15 (have to stop in Herriman, UT, where the CCF is based), U.S. 15, and a variety of state and county route 15’s, etc.
- And just for the heck of it, travel in all 48 contiguous states!
Miscellaneous Symbols of Hope (I’ll be looking for on the journey):
- Bird of Hope: Dove
- Flowers of Hope: Sunflower, Daffodils, Cactus Flowers
- Colors of Hope: Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green, Red
- Aromas of Hope: Peppermint and Lavender
- Sounds of Hope: Ocean Waves, Wind Chimes, Waterfalls
- Symbols of Hope: Cross, Butterfly, Rainbow, Babies, Hot Air Balloons, Stars, Christmas, Lighthouse (I’m a big fan!), Waterfall, Candles, Sunrise and Sunset