Day 223: Petal, Mississippi

Day 223: Petal, Mississippi

Day 223: 3/16

We can’t tell you how great it has been to feel the love from Petal, Mississippi! The entire town rallied around our family and we had about 100 people walk through downtown Petal with Team #JuCan on our #WalkAcrossAmerica! The Petal Police And Fire Departments gave us a huge escort that included a 4 mile loop around the city and the lead officer set an ambitious pace of a 10:30 mile!!! LOL Even the #CobbFamCan was out of breath:))).

As we were rounding the first block, I learned that one of the officers had also lost his 8 year old son to leukemia about 5 years ago. He was also treated at St. Jude. I ran back to where he was directing traffic in an attempt to console him. All I could do was say how sorry I was as we both looked at one another with tears streaming down our faces. I could tell his pain was still so fresh and my heart hurt for him. I couldn’t help but think of the tough veneer of a man who serves in one of the highest callings to protect people; a man who wears a bullet proof vest and carries weapons; but also a man so vulnerable to the fear, pain, hopelessness and helplessness of not being ABLE to protect his own son from invincible cancer. I stood there in a moment of complete relativity and compassion for this policeman to whom I could completely relate. There were no words that were adequate to explain my empathy for his loss, but I think my tears said a thousand words. It was a moment I will never forget…

We wanted to thank the entire city for showing us such love and support for our cause for pediatric cancer. We were surprised and encouraged to receive a proclamation from Mayor Hal Marx on March 14, 2015! Jonathan and I skipped off on a triple dinner date Curtis, Diane, Gina and Robert Barding. That hasn’t happened in…..too long to remember! What a treat!

We attended Macedonia Baptist Church Sunday morning and Pastor Shane Freeman invited us to speak Sunday evening. The entire church reached out to us in the most amazing way, just as they have for the last three years that they have prayed for Ju and our family. We shared our story about Julia and and they had a loaded baked potato supper that followed! Almost everyone bought a JuCan MississippiCan shirt and people won raffles and re-raffled items 4-5 times until they raised almost $10,000 for the JuCan Foundation!!! If you live near Petal and don’t have a church home, you need Macedonia Baptist Church!

On Monday we spoke at the Rotary Club and couldn’t believe that Kevin Lewis, a Hattiesburg architect was there. He approached us afterward with a donation and said he had built the ALSAC building as well as the Danny Thomas Memorial at St. Jude!!! Wow!!! We couldn’t believe it! He also met with us at his office to start planning and brainstorming what our desires were for the #JuCanCastle in Houston. He is very excited and wants to be on the JuCan Castle Dream Team!!! We can’t wait to see his vision on paper! Ju’s dream and our prayers are coming together:).

We also had the distinct honor of going and touring the Forest General Cancer Center where Curtis receives all of his local treatments when he is not at MD Anderson. The staff and doctors were so welcoming and excited about our journey across America! It was so refreshing to stay and talk with a patient who was a nurse who trained nurses that are now treating him! That’s what I call “quality control”! He had a great sense of humor, charisma, empathy and wisdom that can’t be bought.

A special shout-out to Raymond Kitchens and the team at Goodyear in Petal, MS for servicing the #JuBurban and adding new tires to our trailer. Our chase vehicle (Chevrolet, Suburban) has put on more than 18,000 miles in keeping a close eye on the Cobb family walk!!! We would also like to thank Bourne Brothers Printing in Hattiesburg for helping the #JuCanFoundation with various printing needs. All of these things work together to spread the peditric cancer awareness message! We are taking awareness coast to coast and we WILL NOT relent in our cry to the NCI to step up funding for our children #MoreThan4

What an honor to have met the people of Petal, Mississippi, who embody their nickname “the friendly city.” Our Day 223 is dedicated to AML survivor, Curtis Reed, of Petal, Mississippi!!! -Jennifer Cobb

#JuCan #UCan #ReedsCan #PetalCan #MississippiCan #GODCAN