The Hunters are a special family. You can read more about their story at the website (www.hikingforhearts.com), but because of what they went through with their son, Noah, they have established the Hiking for Hearts program to raise money for Children’s Hospital. Through Chris’ love of hiking they organize group hikes of beautiful Colorado 14ers each year and raise funds for those who join them. Now going on their fourth year, I was fortunate to find out about their great cause last year and join them for hikes of Mt. Democrat and Mt. Quandry.
This cause is special to me as it hits close to home as the father of three premature children and knowing what it is like to see your little son or daughter in the incubator. While the open-heart surgery that Noah went through is more severe than what I experienced (although my son’s later brain surgery may give them a bit of a run), the bond between parents who have watched their children battle for life is a strong one. Talking with Chris and his wife Stephanie last year (you do a lot of that as you try to take your mind off the climb), I understood the challenges they went through. The fact that they now have come up with this unique way to pay it forward shows how special they are.
So in 2011 I will be joining them for the first of two 14ers they will do, Mt Sherman on Friday July 8th. I am sure it will be another incredible experience because the feeling of being at the top of a Colorado 14er is hard to describe. I will try to do that when I get back. The photo below shows my grin of having reached the top of Mt. Democrat so I look forward to sharing a similar photo after taking Mt. Sherman off my list.
|On Top of Colorado-Todd enjoys the view from Mt. Democrat