Get Living Family Adventure!
We are so grateful for the family and friends who have walked alongside us these past few years as I have battled recurrent Non-Hodgkin Follicular Lymphoma. My body has responded well to the last cocktail of chemo (Rituximab and Bendamustine) though the road to recovery was long and my hardest yet. My body has out-smarted the traditional treatment method. The next course of treatment will most likely involve more chemo and a Bone Marrow Transplant. You can read more about that here . Please consider being a match, we would be so very grateful! If not for me, as a blessing to another family, son, daughter, mother or father.
When my Father was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung cancer, which had spread to his brain, his doctor recommended he create a "Bucket List" of things that he wanted to do. I remember sitting with him as he began writing his list out. When I was diagnosed with cancer just one month later, I decided to create my own.
At the time, I did a rudimentary job; only half heartily creating a list, as life, a young family and work demands allowed. When my father passed away in 2014 and we were helping my Mom make arrangements for his memorial, she brought out my Dad's hand written "Bucket List". We looked over the dreams realized and those not yet accomplished. I took a photo of his list and since then, two more rounds of cancer later, have been inspired to revisit my own list. I like to call it my "Get Living List." Some of the items on his list are different than mine and some are the same. This trip we are about to take will help "cross-off" items on my list and some on his as well. And in this way, I look forward to bringing my Dad along on this family adventure!
Funds raised through this campaign will help our family to spend valuable and precious time together, making memories while my immune system is strong and healthy. The past five years have been filled with risk just going to the grocery store and brining home germs.
I have a window of opportunity to work remotely for the next six months, so we plan to leave Denver in an RV at the end of January. We plan to spend that time traveling in a camper (yes, you heard that right!), marking experiences and places off my Get Living List!
The bigger dream we have is to use a portion of the funds and any additional raised to help other families facing similar battles. Having lived through the financial and emotional stress of battling a life altering illness, we want to use the experiences our family has been strengthened by to bless others in need. Something that has been on our hearts is starting a foundation, allowing families like ours to get living, giving them memories to cherish and strengthen their endurance this side of heaven.
We feel that God has given us a story to share, to encourage you to live your life full of faith, love, family and adventure! We want nothing more than for you to come along with us and be part of this great family adventure! We hope to post updates on Facebook , please join us for the journey! We would love to see you along the way, even if that means a campsite right beside us!
More on our family's journey on CaringBridge and here:
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Please join us in praying for continued healing, great health and safe travels. We are trusting God for a miracle healing, we have seen His healing hand and know He is a great God capable of great miracles. Until then, we are just happy to be here and feel so blessed by each day we are given in good health to be with one another!
July 4th has its obvious significance for those who call America home! For many reasons it is a special day and we are to celebrate the day and remember that we are free! And that is truly awesome and amazing! Happy 241th birthday America!
For the Hepburn Clan it also holds another special meaning for us. 6 years ago we cut up our credit cards and choose to begin our journey of becoming debt free. 5 grueling years later, on July 4th, 2016 we finally crossed that finish line and became debt free after paying off $89,000 in personal loans, student loans and credit card debt (and some late fees to the library too!). We had an amazing experience telling our story in Nashville on Blake’s 35th birthday last October.
In 2017 we marked the holiday while on our Get Living Adventure. We spent the weekend and Fourth of July with friends who stood with us during our journey. They are 2 special families that were in our small group for a number of years. We are so thankful for their friendship through becoming debt free and walking alongside our family as Blake battled cancer. It was these special friends that gave Hadley her 5 year old birthday party when Blake was receiving his infusion of chemo drugs. It was these friends who prayed with us for healing. Celebrating that Blake is now 2.5 years of being cancer free; The 4th of July is like his half birthday!
It was these special friends that invited us to share in their families’ tradition of celebrating Independence Day in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Time spent at their family home enjoying long overdue fellowship and summer water sports such as kayaking, paddle-boating, paddle-boarding, the “Boy Kid Fishing Club”, as well as watching the kids’ imaginations take flight while Bigfoot hunting in the great north!
We had so much fun participating in small town 4th of July festivities in the nearby town of Amasa; which included couples log cutting and potato sack and hay bale races!
To cap it all off, there was Pickleball and sparklers – we couldn’t have imagined a better 4th of July this 2017 – our 1 year Anniversary of being free from the chains of debt. It has freed us up in so many ways – even beyond financially – and has allowed us to dream of what can be possible in life. We thank you all again for joining us on our Get Living Adventure by supporting us through GoFundMe. The gifts have been a true blessing allowing us to do far more than we could have ever imagined when we set out at end of January. We are coming to expect the unexpected on our trip and love the daily adventures we are experiencing – thanks so much for coming along with us! Join us over on our blog, JustHappy.Today or Instagram.com/hepburnclan and Facebook.com/cbhepburnclan for updates on our adventures.
We have 1 month remaining as we continue our trek back west towards Colorado. We can’t wait to see you all that reside in Denver. We will be living in Liberty Lucy upon our return for a couple of months; splitting our time between several Denver area state parks including Cherry Creek and Chatfield and hope to have you all visit us in our ‘home’.
Love the Just Happy To Be Here Hepburn Clan!
While Blake's cancer will never fully be "in remission", instead in dormant state until it returns. We are trusting and praying for a miracle each day, believing our God is capable of healing him. In the meantime we truly are just happy to be here, enjoying the adventure, living in the moment one day at a time! So grateful for today because none of us is promised tomorrow!
We are so encouraged that we raised 51% of our goal and so thankful to our friends who nudged us to take the GoFundMe plunge. We are hopeful to raise the remaining funds that will help us create many more memories before our return "home" in August!! So incredibly grateful!
Just Happy to Be Here,
Blake & Cortney
Visit our Blog at JustHappy.Today
Today at Jamestown may have been one of the greatest highlights of the trip! This beyond our wildest dreams to be visiting places we have been studying with the kids in school. It's beyond what we could've ever planned, more than coincidence, divine planning for sure! To have been in Georgia while studying Eli Whitney and his Cotton Gin with cotton fields in our backyard fresh for picking to studying Andrew Jackson and having visited Jackson Square in New Orleans and unknowingly planning a stay at Jackson State Park in South Carolina --his birthplace. To be at Jamestown this week, the seed of our great nation, which we studied back in August, it is truly amazing to say the least. If History was made to be this fun when we were in school, we can only dream...
We have the next week to spend in Williamsburg before heading north to Maryland for a soon to be shared "dream job" on our retirement bucket list, involving bathrooms and cleaning a Mike Rowe Dirty Jobs assignment of sorts...sounds dreamy, huh?! Choosing to live with gratitude in the moment, knowing too well tomorrow holds no promises. We'll leave you wondering for now, so grateful to have you on the journey with us knowing it would not be the same without you!
Just Happy to Be Here,
Blake, Cortney, Hadley, Nolan & Liberty Lucy
Visit our blog at JustHappy.Today
Hi Blake and Courtney. Once again, your faith and courage inspire me. Thank you for pressing on even when you're faced with this additional challenge. A bone marrow transplant?! I will be praying every day for you. On your journey, would you like to come visit us here in Meridian, Idaho?? We have space for your family. You could get out of your camper while you're here. :-) We would love to see you in person and pray for you. Here's my phone number: 208)353-6239. Please give me a call. We love your family....... Love, Brenda (Perry, Nate, Madi, Eli, Erin and Olivia too)