Family Walks 4,000 Miles From Disneyland to Disneyworld to Honor Daughter Who Died of Cancer

Father’s Day was bittersweet this year for the Cobb family as they ended their 4,000 mile trek across America to honor their daughter who passed away from cancer. Believed to be the first family to ever take on such an expedition, Jennifer and Jonathan Cobb -- along with their three children, ages 4 to 13 -- thought it was the best way to honor their late daughter Julia’s memory.

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“We decided to walk from Disney Land to Disney World because that's where we had our last great memories of Julia,” shares Jennifer. Eight-Year-old Julia Cobb died in October 2013 of Ewing's sarcoma, a rare cancer that develops in the bone or soft tissue.

Beginning last August, the Cobbs averaged 20 to 25 miles on foot each day through every element imaginable -- including walking through the Mojave Desert. Determined not to give up, Jennifer and her husband took turns driving their SUV packed with limited supplies before calling it a night at whatever hotel they could find. As their passion to complete their mission grew, so did their fan base as strangers paid for their meals and gave donations. With time (320 days to be exact), the family was able to reach their desired finish line, and more importantly, raise awareness about childhood cancer.

Jonathan and Jennifer created the JuCan Foundation (a hybrid of Julia’s name and "cancer") in their daughter’s honor that aims to raise money and help other families with children battling pediatric cancer. They’re currently in the process of creating "JuCan Castles" that provide families with a place to stay while their child receives treatment at a cancer center.

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I can’t even fathom how a parent copes with the loss of a child. It’s something you never imagine happening that can rock your foundation of strength and faith. While most might not be able to commit to walking cross country for a year, this story is extremely commendable -- and a unique way to honor their daughter’s legacy. I truly hope anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one is able to find some sense of peace to get through each day, as well as the opportunity to celebrate the life of the person gone but not forgotten.

 

Image via Julia Cobb - JuCan Foundation / Facebook

 

 

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