BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One family said it was the chilliest day in Louisiana yet on their 4,000 mile walk across America. They have been at it for 7 months now.
Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center was a just one of the many stops for the Cobb Family, better known as Team JuCan. JuCan is a combination of daughter Julia's name and the first letters of the word cancer.
Jennifer and Jonathan Cobb said their daughter Julia fought Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. In their home town of Houston, she was treated at MD Anderson and was then moved to St. Jude Hospital in Memphis.
Julia fought the cancer for over two years, and when St. Jude gave her a trip last year at age 8, she chose Disney World. The whole family enjoyed it. She looked frail on that trip, but let the magic thrill her. In a video her dad recorded, Julia said, "I love getting to come here (Disney World) to celebrate the end of my chemo and to cheer everybody up."
Jennifer Cobb said that Julia died after a week there in Disney World.
"On the very last day, quite unexpectedly, she passed away," Jennifer said. "And we were really trying to figure out what to do with the rest of our lives after we lost her, and didn't quite know how to regroup and how to go back to any kind of normalcy, or anything that everyone else expects you to do. And so, we were reflecting on the words of a reporter in Beaumont, Texas who said 'Julia went from from one Magic Kingdom to the next.'"
That gave the family the idea to launch their incredible journey from Disneyland to Disney World on foot.
The family's Facebook and Instagram accounts have pictures from their walk. Seldom are all five in one picture with one parent at least behind the scenes out of sight to operate the camera! They do have a couple of professionally shot pictures that are just beautiful with everyone in them.
In Louisiana, the Lake Charles Fire Department wanted to cook them dinner.
In Baton Rouge, the family realized they won't make Orlando on their original target date, Julia's birthday March 17th. But Jonathan Cobb said they have got a good pace going so far in Louisiana.
He commented that the family post-Julia's death has had a chance to work through their feelings on the road. That there are very private moments in the middle of a stretch of emptiness where they may have a good cry. But they had wrecked their lives, pulling all the kids out of school for the latter part of Julia's treatment and Jonathan feels the extreme nature of their challenge has helped them grow in a way you don't learn in school.
In fact, their 13-year-old son John sat down with ease to tell 9News his hopes for their mission. "I hope that we encourage those who are suffering cancer. I hope we end childhood cancers and I hope we raise $413,000," he said.
So as the Cobbs family and their dog continue to that other Magic Kingdom, they make memories that will last a lifetime, remembering Julia's happy outlook and smile.