Arriving in Barstow. Photo By Jonathan Cobb
Friday Evening, I had the pleasure of meeting the Cobb Family. They seem like a typical family, but Jonathan and Jennifer Cobb along with their 3 children, Jonathan David, 12, Jenna, 10, and Jaxi, 3, are doing something that is extraordinary. They are walking from Disneyland to Disney World. They aren’t taking a direct route, either. I met them outside of Barstow as they were taking a dinner break from their walk. I pointed out that they were not heading toward Disney World, but toward Las Vegas. They laughed good naturedly and told me that they are taking a circuitous route that will take them through Las Vegas, Denver, Kansas, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Birmingham, and finally to Orlando. They will finish their walk at the Castle inside of Disney World after walking down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. You might wonder why a family of four would make a choice to do something so out of the ordinary. They are doing it because of Julia.
Julia Cobb, the Cobb’s third child, died on October 29, 2013 as a result of Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of rare bone cancer. She was only 8 years old. The family is making this walk to honor the memory of Julia, increase awareness of pediatric cancer, and hopefully earn some money which they intend to donate to pediatric cancer centers in different parts of the country which took part in Julia’s care. These hospitals include the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
Last fall, eight year old Julia had undergone a stem cell transplant at St. Jude’s Hospital in Tennessee, but her cancer continued to spread. St. Jude’s arranged for Make-a-Wish to provide the family with a week long trip to the Magic Kingdom of Disney World. On the last day of the trip, Julia awoke with an unexplained fever. She was take to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, and that was where she “transitioned into Glory.” Her family says that since Julia went from one Kingdom to the next, they decided to walk from one Magic Kingdom to another.
The family began walking on August 6, 2014, and they have already had some challenges on their trip. Their sole chase vehicle required repairs, and they have sometimes had to walk without their chase vehicle due to trails that are impassible for their Suburban which they renamed ” the JuBurban”. At this point, they walk as far as they can, pile into the chase vehicle, return to a Hotel for the night then go to the place where they stopped walking the night before, and start all over again. The family is hoping that someone can donate an RV for them to use so that they don’t have to eat out and stay in Hotels all the time.
Through their website, they are hoping that teams can be organized to help get donations and walk with them on different parts of the route. So far, Jonathan, a cancer survivor, has been doing most of the walking while the rest of the family serves as his support team. When asked why they think they can do this, the family replies with Julia’s favorite scripture, Philippians 4:13, which says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Who could argue with that?
To sponsor the Cobb family on their journey, visit the JuCan Foundation Website to learn more about their needs for sponsorship.
To make a donation to the JuCan Foundation to support pediatric cancer research click here. Their goal is to raise $413,000. The amount is a tribute to Julia’s favorite scripture mentioned above.
You can follow the family’s progress through their blog and on their Facebook page.
If you would like to meet this extraordinary family, they will be walking around Chili’s restaurant off the Lenwood Road exit in Barstow on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm. They are hoping that people will turn out and walk with them around the restaurant. If you can, head over to Chili’s and give some support this amazing family and their mission.
Patti can also be found at Patty Cake’s Pantry.