We’ve all heard about Johnny Appleseed, the man with the tin pot on his head who planted apple seeds all over the country. He did this knowing he would never see the fruits of his labor, literally, but he planted anyway.
He had a real name, John Chapman.
But people tend to remember the other name, and his story is told in classrooms all across America in September as the children go back to school and learn about the color red, make applesauce, and see if apples sink or float.
I’ve told his stories countless times in my classroom, and one boy in particular? I am so grateful he was in my class to hear the story.
You see, this boy’s mom?
She knew someone else who shares the last name, “Appleseed”.
She has a real name too, Ann Fonfa.
She doesn’t plant apple seeds though.
She plants seeds of hope.
My dear friend Maggie put me in touch with Ann soon after I was diagnosed. Ann faced a similar diagnosis many years ago. Through a blend of western and Eastern therapies, and a whole lot of nutrition, she healed. Her story has even been written about in the book, Radical Remission, and she was featured in the documentary, The Truth About Cancer. She turned adversity into advocacy. She took all that she learned about holistic and alternative treatments, nutrition, and exercise and created the Annie Appleseed Project. Through her website and Facebook page, she continues to educate and advocate cancer patients. She has a conference every year in March in West Palm Beach, Florida.
I went to that conference last year and learned so much. She had doctors from all over the world speaking about new treatments, alternative therapies, speakers on nutrition, healers who showed us how to move and do healing dances, a Chinese herbalist, meditation, and assorted vendors. It was a whirlwind of information. It was worth every penny to go and sit in that conference room surrounded by other people who believed in hope.
That’s what Annie Appleseed plants…
seeds of hope.
Check out her website, got to her conference, donate to her cause.
I will always be grateful that Ann shared her story with others, and through a boy in my kindergarten class, I heard about her story and had a seed of hope planted in my heart.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
In Jesus’s name, amen.