Phil "Right Click" Valentine, Executive Director of the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) hiked the 2,189 mile Appalachian Trail raising more than $20,000 to support recovery from alcohol and other addiction.
Phil "Right Click" Valentine
on Mount Katahdin
, 55 yeas old, in recovery from alcohol and cocaine addiction since 1987 and a CCAR employee for the last 17 years was known as "Right Click" on the Appalachian Trail because of his
clicking right knee.
trek exactly 5 years from the day he
received a stage 4 cancer diagnosis.
While recovering from an aggressive and successful chemotherapy and radiation treatment regimen, Valentine
sensed a call to hike the Appalachian Trail, a feat that ultimately would take 189 days to achieve.
Two years prior to his
start, the CCAR
Board of Directors had the unusual yet inspired foresight to fully support the walk.
has earned an international reputation as a leader in the new recovery advocacy movement.
A plan was launched for Valentine
to use this adventure to "put a face on recovery", one of the movement's central themes.
raised funds for the organization, generating more than $20,000.
framed it this way, "I believe people in recovery from alcohol and other addiction go on and do extraordinary things.
endured snow, sleet, rain, lightning, wind and high summer heat.
share of wildlife and sighted 15 different bears and 4 moose; there's a photo on Instagram of Valentine
, a mother bear and 2 cubs with a caption of "The elusive 3-bear selfie!"
I heard Valentine speak at a recent event.
A gifted public speaker, Valentine
artfully recalled many adventures.
From miraculous healing to treacherous traverses, he
endured the physical toll on his
body that included weight loss of 56 pounds, aching muscles, throbbing joints, rashes, blisters, sprains and scrapes.
highlighted the talk with marvelous photographs that emphasized the sheer beauty of the Appalachian Trail.
had the support of his
wife Sandy provided trail magic along the way.
18-year-old daughter Samantha hiked 280 miles in Virginia with him and earned the trail name "Tough Love".
Matthew "Riptide" Valentine (age 13) did more than 100 miles with him in Vermont.
also talked about the emotional and mental stress of living on the trail for 6 months.
All I felt was relief; I finally got to go home", Valentine
said from the comfort of his
is currently working on a book about his
In the meantime he
speaks about the journey whenever he