COLUMBUS — On the eve of her cancer surgery in August, Becky Hunter and her husband, Rob, sat in their backyard discussing the future.
What if, he asked her, things don’t go well and we don’t have much time? What would you want to do?
“I said, ‘I want you to publish your crazy book you’ve been working on, and then let’s travel the country, sharing our message and spending every day together,’” Becky said.
Eight months later, her wishes have all come to pass.
Rob, a singer-songwriter, has finished his book and the couple are two weeks into a yearlong nationwide tour, planning to hit all 50 states and perform in a different venue every night.
On Sunday from 8 to 10 p.m., they will be at Fenders in Westerville, where Rob will perform an acoustic set of his songs. (His style has been described as “alt-country-rock.”)
“Becky just sort of called me out on my lack of confidence,” Rob said of his wife’s urging to finish the book and put out a new album. “She is an inspirational person in so many ways. This tour would not have existed without her.”
The two are both small-town Pennsylvania natives — Rob from Danville (where they live now) and Becky from Jim Thorpe. They met in 2012 and married the next year.
Rob had released two EPs and Becky had founded a nonprofit to teach science and nature to underprivileged children when she learned in December 2016 that she had an aggressive form of breast cancer.
She was 28.
“You just gain a whole new perspective on life,” Becky said. “There are so many people who say, ‘Oh, when I retire I am going to do these things,’ but we want to tell people to embrace this now because you don’t know how much time you have left.”
Rob, 35 now, had been struggling to write a novel for years, and Becky’s nudging drove him to finish it. Called “Relapse,” the book — set for release in May — centers on a man and his wild adventures.
His brand-new album is called “Revival” — and thus the couple’s tour title: “Relapse and Revival.”
The two are traveling with their sheepdog, Gracie, in a 30-foot recreational vehicle. In planning the tour, they emphasized playing in smaller venues, coffee shops and bookstores. In some venues, they will do a book-signing or read excerpts; other stops (including Fenders) will be more music-oriented.
Since Becky’s chemotherapy treatments and surgery, her cancer is in remission. Rob said the two are eager to spend the next year sharing their story of love and life.
“One thing we’re trying to convey is when you find someone good in this world, you need to fight for them and stick with them,” he said, “because really good people are rare.
“Also, people have more ability than they know,” he added. “That’s something Becky taught me, and now I live by that.”