Leaving Troubles – and Hope – Behind

When Chip Hunter and his wife Katie stayed at Caring House last summer during Chip’s radiation treatment, he was gifted a painted rock with the simple phrase, “Be Brave”. The rock rested on his dresser for the past year, as he tried to follow its advice through tests and scans, and its simple urging and comforting message always made him smile and feel a little more confident. 

After their stay, as Chip and his wife embarked on an adventure to walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain for 5 weeks (“The Way”), Chip was called to share the message of hope he had received at Caring House. About 200km from the end, at the highest point of the Camino and roughly 2/3 of the way across Spain, you’ll find the Cruz de Ferro, or iron cross. Even in pre-Christian times, this site was venerated by the Romans worshiping the god Mercury. 

Since then, the tradition has been to bring a stone from your home and leave it as a symbol of the troubles you want to leave behind on your Camino. Over the years, many people have left rocks as a symbol of letting go of their troubles. 

“I decided with this trip, it was time to pass the message along to the next person who needed the sentiment and advice,” said Chip. He placed the rock at the base of the Cruz de Ferro, leaving a symbol of hope and strength – a message from Caring House – behind. 

Founded in 1992, Caring House provides comfortable, supportive, and affordable housing to Duke Cancer Institute adult outpatients and their caregivers. Donate today to help us maintain our beautiful home!