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home » Hike For Discovery » HFD 2007 » May 5, 2007 - Patapsco Valley State Park - Cascade Falls

Meet the 2007 HFD Team

Aileen Goss
Andrea Hoffman
Brianna McMullen
Cindy Kiamko
Cindy Vogelberger
Clint Reach
Deb Donofrio
Ellen Brooks
Erin Noseworthy
 Greg Palmer
Heather Mitchell
Heidi Sowers
 Jessica Koman
Joel Shalowitz
 Kate Brotman
 Kate Greenberg
Kendra Plemmons
Kevin Pearson ‡
Kim Guercio
Kyle Bray *
Lisa Fronc *
Lauren Allen †
Olivia Darden
Patti Harden **
Paula Finkelstein
Terrill Esposito
Tracy Kight
Rosamaria Somarriba
Samuel Somarriba
** Hike Leader
* Mentor
† LLS Staff
‡ Honorary Team Member


Hike Hero - Gary

A Hike Hero in the Hike For Discovery program is a person that is currently fighting a blood cancer. The members of each group hike in honor of this individual.

The Hike Hero for the Maryland Chapter is Gary Todd. He first discovered he had enlarged lymph nodes during a visit to the hospital after having chest pains during a hike in late November 2003. In June 2005 he began feeling tired and experiencing night sweats. At first he thought he was worrying unnecessarily because of his impending retirement the next year. However, after a number of tests it was diagnosed with Stage 4, Non-Hodgkin’s spleenic lymphoma.

Gary underwent a chemotherapy treatment in six cycles over eighteen weeks and on January 1, 2006 went into remission. Unfortunately in late March of 2006 he began to feel sick again and in mid-May he began treatment with Rituxin*. He has been diagnosed with chronic lymphoma and will be taking Rituxin every ninety days for at least the next two years.

* Rituxin is an advanced and less invasive medicine that was made possible by money donated for research. It attacks only the cancerous cells and leaves healthy cells intact.







May 5, 2007 - Pre-Trip Hike and Picnic
Patapsco Valley State Park - Cascade Falls

Time of Hike: 10:30 AM
Distance Hiked: 3.0 Miles
Temp During Hike: Low 62.1 °F   High 68.0 °F
Elevation Change: 150 Ft

Our flight to the Grand Canyon leaves on Thursday so this week we were done with training. Our hike was only a 3 mile walk in the woods that took about 1 ½ hours. We visited Patapsco State Park again, ending where we started, and we spent more time enjoying each other’s company and taking photos than anything else. I’m even in one of the group photos this time.

We ended the hike with a picnic at Patti’s house where we celebrated our accomplishment, relaxed, and talked about our upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon. Several people brought family along and the group finally got to meet my daughter Emerson. She acted like she has known everyone for a long time and just smiled as we played pass the baby.

The park looks a lot different now, everything is green and park visitors were everywhere enjoying the nice weather. The thought occurred to me that watching the seasons change during our journey is like a metaphor for what we are trying to accomplish. At the beginning everything was cold and unknown and we were with a group of strangers. We didn’t know where we were going or how we would get there or even if we had the strength and endurance to make it. With every step we took our confidence grew and we found strength inside us to help us along. Our group of strangers became a group of friends that we could find support in. At times it seemed like the weather would never change, we would be in the cold forever, but we stuck with it and things did start to improve. We first started to see flowers bloom then new leaves appeared in the trees and finally the brown and silent forests we once hiked through became lush green places filled with birds singing and squirrels playing. Hopefully the money we have all raised will help many people diagnosed with cancer find their way from a cold, unknown place to a place filled with friends, hope, and happiness.

  About Patapsco Valley State Park, MD

Park Headquarters
8020 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21043
(410) 461-5005

Patapsco Valley State Park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River, encompassing 14,000 acres and five developed recreational areas. Recreational opportunities include hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback and mountain bike trails, as well as picnicking for individuals or large groups in the park's many popular pavilions.

For more information visit:


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