NPR logo A Trip Back To Hopkins

A Trip Back To Hopkins

I've filled up the gas tank to make the trip up I-95 today. It's been a while, but those instincts are sure to kick in once I get on the road. I'll look over to the passenger side of the car, to the empty seat where my co-pilot used to sit, sipping on his iced venti, non-fat mocha. The image is crystal clear.

Johns Hopkins, here I come.

It's time to check-in with the folks up there and see how the Leroy memorial fund is doing. What's the next thing we can do to contribute to the patients and their families fighting cancer? It's a good feeling knowing that those double-X, Leroy-sized gowns have made a difference. But there's a lot more to do.

I'm not sure why, but one of the hardest parts of going there is pulling into the Weinberg Center parking lot. Driving down that ramp just haunts me. It must trigger memories of anticipating long days filled with treatments and doctors and sad news.

It's a mixed emotions kind of day. I like seeing familiar faces. Old friends, medical wizards who worked their hardest giving Leroy quality as well as quantity in his shortened life.

And it's "Purple Friday." Few towns love their NFL teams like Baltimore. The Ravens have a big game against the Titans in Tennessee this weekend. Most of Hopkins goes purple. Even the chemo room takes on a purple hue.

It's all about team spirit, isn't it? In football or in cancer.