To date, the Journey of Hope has been memorable in many ways that will be with me forever. Today, however, was a milestone event that rises to the top. Why?
My original inspiration for the journey took place over a year ago when I was driving on NJ Rt. 519, past the famous 400-year-old Hope Sycamore tree, in Hope, NJ. Although I’d admired this historic/ huge tree (27’ in circumference) while driving past it over the years, I was struck one particular day by how the sun’s rays were penetrating the branches and leaves. To me, it clearly resembled the logo for the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, and it was located in a town named Hope. Suddenly, I wondered how many other towns were like this in the country, and the vision for the journey began.
Several months ago I communicated with Bob May, the owner of the Swayze Hill Farm, and asked if I could stop by with Karen Brennan, a local cholangiocarcinoma warrior, for a quick photo opportunity by the historic Sycamore. Well, one thing led to another, and today we had several dozen people there, including Cathy, another Warrior from Englewood, NJ, family members, representatives from Taiho Oncology, friends, and Rick Meagher, a professional bagpiper. To me, there is something magical about the bagpipes, especially when Amazing Grace is being played so well!
I’ve now traveled in 23 states, covering over 6,000 miles. I’ve met amazing people and visited eight towns named Hope. I’m very excited about the next chapter, which begins tomorrow. Stay tuned, and Give A Little Whistle!