He’s a veteran, husband, father, outdoorsman, and Catholic. He also has Stage IV cancer.
For years, Phil dreamt of walking the 500-mile ancient pilgrimage route across Spain, El Camino de Santiago. Although this was an unattainable dream due to weekly chemo treatments, it did not stop him from walking. Crafting a path through wood and pasture on his 10-acre plot of land on Vashon Island, Seattle, Phil re-creates the Camino path in his own backyard. After each 0.88 km lap, Phil plots his progress on a Camino map. As he measures his daily steps towards the end destination of Santiago, Phil finds that the rhythm of walking presents healing in a way he had never experienced before. The journey continues… After two clean scans from his doctors, Phil receives a “chemo-holiday,” and is finally able to make his long-awaited dream of Spain become a reality. Through the act of walking, Phil learns to stop fighting to cure his cancer, and embraces physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. For those have the tremendous privilege of taking part in Phil's journey, it is evident that he does not allow circumstances to define him; but views cancer as a catalyst to a life of rich moments in the tension of suffering and gratitude. Phil’s Camino captures Phil’s story from Vashon to Spain and back again. His determined character, life of simplicity, and joy in the everyday presents a story of what it means to live vibrantly in the face of adversity.