"Phil Valentine’s call to walk the Appalachian Trail is a vivid example of moving beyond recovery FROM life-threating illnesses as a means of recovering TO a life of extraordinary possibilities. Thousands of us who have shared the challenges and unexpected gifts from such recovery journeys will be walking in spirit with him.” ~Bill White
Walking With Dad by Samantha Valentine
February 26, 2015
On March 19, 2015, my dad will embark on the longest walk of his life. A 2,180-mile trek, passing through 14 states along the Appalachian Mountain range, my dad will walk from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine.
I could not be more proud.
This may be the hardest thing my dad will ever do, but it certainly will not be the only difficult thing my dad has journeyed through. Five years ago, on March 19, 2010, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 oropharyngeal cancer – cancer of the tongue. Now, not only is he in recovery from alcoholism and cocaine addiction, he is also a cancer survivor.
On March 18, 2005, my dad wrote a blog post on his Hooked On Recovery page titled “Walking With Samantha”. This post was written almost exactly ten years prior to the date he will start his hike. Ten years ago, we thought that the 3-mile hike to church was ambitious; who would have known that 3-miles would turn into 2,180! I wish that I could be with him physically on this journey, but it is time for him to go on a walk with his Heavenly Father.
Dad, I want you to know that I support you and I will be with you every step of the way, in spirit and prayer.