About Thru-Hike

Daniel Potter
Daniel Potter during a practice hike on the AT.

In August of 2001, Joe Chirdon was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. For 10 months he fought the disease, through several treatments of chemotherapy and radiation. Although Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most curable of cancers, Joe was not so fortunate. He succumbed to it at the age of 30.

When Daniel Potter found out Joe was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, he was hopeful like everyone else. But when Joe’s prognosis took a turn for the worse, he found himself wondering about how much time one has left to accomplish their dreams. Daniel was fortunate to spend a good deal of time with Joe, his wife Lisa and two-year-old son, Jonathon, and it made him realize that the right time to go after one’s dreams is always now.

That is why in honor of Joe, Daniel decided to pursue his dream of walking the Appalachian Trail, raising money in the fight against Hodgkin’s. Thru-Hike continued with a hike of Hadrian’s Wall in 2004, and the first group Hike-A-Thon at Jockey Hollow in Morristown, NJ in 2005. Money from our fundraising efforts went towards a Hodgkin’s research project through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Hodgkin lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s Disease, is a specialized form of lymphoma, representing 11 percent of all lymphomas diagnosed each year. It attacks the lymph nodes throughout the body and has higher incidence rates in adolescents and young adults, like Joe. And even though cases of Hodgkin lymphoma have decreased over the past 30 years, with a cure rate of more than 80 percent, there are many steps that need to be taken to ensure that cure rate continues to grow.

Hiking Hadrian's Wall
Hiking Hadrian’s Wall in 2004
Hike-a-Thon
Daniel and his nieces at the 2005 Hike-a-Thon in Jockey Hollow.