A Journey of Two Hearts

James Johnston, Ph.D., R.T.(R)(CV), FASRT, and Stephanie Johnston, M.S.R.S., R.T.(R)(M)(BS)
Feb. 13, 2015

The JohnstonsAmerican novelist and poet Don Williams Jr. once said, “The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”

Although we started our careers as R.T.s at different points in our lives and in different states, our individual paths led us down the same road.

I, James, come from humble beginnings in west Texas. My family had no money to send me to college, and I worked hard throughout high school to earn a scholarship and federal Pell Grants. At the age of 18, I left my family’s small cotton farm for x-ray school and never looked back. Stephanie grew up in a middle-class family in southern New Mexico. She went to work after high school because her parents couldn’t afford to send her to college, but she realized that education was important. She later found a way to go to x-ray school and earn an associate degree in the radiologic sciences while earning a bachelor’s degree in community health.

Our jobs led us to become ASRT members many years ago. Both of us share a love for the profession and have been involved with the ASRT for many years, serving as state delegates and members of various committees. We met at an ASRT conference during a difficult time in our lives, both divorced and starting over at 40. After months of long-distance conversations, we fell in love and began a new journey together.

The word “journey” has a very special meaning to us: On our first date, Stephanie gave me a small worry stone with a journey symbol carved into it. She said it symbolized the beginning of our journey together. I’ve carried that stone in my pocket ever since. The stone represents a continuation of our lives together.

When we decided to set a goal for ourselves to finance a new scholarship, we asked that it be named the James and Stephanie Johnston Journey Scholarship. We want to help other struggling R.T.s with their journeys. We set up an endowment to fund the award so that the scholarship will live on long after our journeys are complete.

We never imagined we’d be able to fund an endowment, but we set up a five-year pledge and broke our funding goal down into smaller parts. It makes us feel good to know that the passion we’ve poured into the profession will help other dedicated individuals with their own journeys in the radiologic sciences.

This article was originally published in ASRT Scanner, Vol. 47, No. 1, Page 21.