Day 286: 5/18
T.G.I.M.= Thank God It’s Monday!!!
JuCanFoundation.org Team JuCan #CobbFamCan is on a 4,000 mile walk across America and we are passionate about children suffering from the #1 cause of death by disease in America- CANcer! Today, 43 children (on average) will be told they have cancer. Every day we get emails, Facebook updates, and we see faces of children who will never know an end of the year school field trip to the zoo, or a trip to Washington DC, a high school graduation or prom, never get married or have kids. Some of these children are “only children”; miracle adoptions from over seas. Some are the child their parents never thought they could conceive. All are battling a disease that I liken to a salmon swimming upriver to spawn. Many make the journey across thousands of miles against a monstrous current, but only a few survive. Isn’t it time to slow the current and increase the survival? Is it fair that the average age of a child at cancer diagnosis is 6 and the average age of death is 8?
As the school year wraps up and people begin their family vacations, please
don’t forget to support the children who won’t know whether it’s summer, winter,
spring or fall. Their routine will look the same: hospital visits, blood work, cultures, stem cell transplants, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, radiation, brain surgery, anesthesia, CT scans, MRI’s, X-rays, drinking barium cocktails, swallowing nasty pills, and long waits to visit their doctors to get bad news….
No matter what your Monday looks like, thank God it’s Monday and you have a chance to make the most of your week! Encourage someone today and better yet, make a donation to help #endchildhoodcancer #morethan4
#JuCan – UCan- GODCAN #CanNow
To help us reach our goal to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer, please visit http://www.jucanfoundation.org/donate/
Claire Kaplan was an angel sent to help prepare our sweet Ju for her “final flight” October 27, 2013. The story below is Claire’s account of meeting Julia “JuCan” Cobb just hours before she left this world at Epcot on her Make-A-Wish trip. Claire was the one who gave Ju her final flight on “Soarin'” and that was her goodbye. Ju said to me, “Mama, I just want to fly!”
Now today, Claire is starting a new chapter in her life. After years of working at Disney World, she will say good bye and start over with the man of her dreams. Everyone is put in our lives for a reason and I will always remember Claire’s gift of a smile, her warm hug, her compassion and her love for my daughter at her greatest hour of need. Many blessings to you, Claire!
“Claire Kaplan – Epcot
How Julia Cobb changed my life in one hour: The Cobb family was on Julia’s Make a Wish trip to Walt Disney World. They came in eat in my restaurant The Garden Grill. I was chatting with them when their seating card came out of the printer so I decided to seat them. Julia was sitting in her stroller/wheelchair. I asked Mrs. Cobb if they were bringing the chair into the restaurant and Julia said, “I can walk” and flashed me her beautiful smile. Her mom asked if she was sure and she said yes. As we were walking to the table I turned around and looked at Julia and it looked like she was in pain and I felt a little guilty that she was walking. We got to the table and we talked about the characters, the rotating restaurant and the food. Julia told me she loves to have melted butter to dip her broccoli in. I went in the kitchen and asked the chef to melt some butter. We don’t have microwave, but he put some butter under the food warmer and by the time their food came out we had melted butter!. During the meal, I walked by and Julia had her eyes closed. She was sitting up and looked really peaceful. I quietly said, “Are you okay sweetie?”. She opened her beautiful eyes and looked at me, smiled her beautiful smile and said she was. I asked my manager for five fast passes for Soarin. Its the most popular ride in Epcot and the queue line is always forever long. He went downstairs and got them for me. Mr. Cobb took out picture together with the fast passes. When they were done eating, they said goodbye and left. The very next day Julia left this earth. When I learned this my heart broke, but my life was changed. I will always remember every minute of knowing one super special little girl with a giant heart and beautiful smile.”
#JuCan -ClaireCan – GODCAN
#FromOneMagicKingdomToTheNext #MakeAWish #WaltDisneyWorld #epcot #magickingdom #DisneyWorld
This is a BIG SHOUT OUT TO ALABASTER, AL!!!! Amber Broadhead contacted me a month and a half ago to say that she found out about us after googling sarcomas. Her mama is a sarcoma survivor and she was touched by our story and our #WalkAcrossAmerica !
She managed to organize the biggest bash for our family and pulled out all the stops! She assured me that there were many surprises up her sleeve and that she couldn’t wait until we could get there. Even though we were behind on our foot trail (and have had to backtrack east of Tupelo, MS in order to cover all of our miles), we made this Alabaster date long ago and we kept our promise. Amber kept hers too! We had surprises galore!
We enjoyed a dinner with a few teachers Sunday evening and checked into our complimentary stay at Candlewood Suites. A basket of goodies and surprises awaited us. (ie. monogrammed Disney shirts- Monograms ‘n More, gift cards to Dicks Sporting Goods- Kelly Watts, food cards- Donna Spicer , toys for the kids, and snacks)
We were invited to eat at the Board of Education where lunch was provided and we were the guests of honor along with the Superintendent and Thompson Intermediate School’s Principal- Brent Byars, and many other officials. After that, we arrived at Thompson Intermediate School where we heard chanting “JuCan, JuCan, JuCan!!!” as we pulled in. The assembly of 1,100 4th & 5th graders commenced with a presentation of single flowers and handmade cards given by each student. Jonathan, Jenna and Jaxi shared their powerful testimonies about their sister and their walk across America. The high school drum line played and the cheerleaders cheered their hearts out for the Pediatric Cancer cause and a family that their school had come to know and love! We were presented with a beautiful glass Cinderella carriage glass globe (thank you Broadhead and Marshall Families) engraved with our Team JuCan Walk Across America 2014-2015, a treasure we will forever keep! The bonus was meeting a true CANcer warrior, 10 year old Haydn, who has battled and beat Lymphoma! #JuCan – HaydnCan – GODCAN!!!
That afternoon we enjoyed an early dinner at Olive Garden and a beautiful homemade sheet cake (K & J Elegant Pastries) with our foundation logo on it!
The day continued to escalate when we were ushered in and announced by local radio 102.5 personalities (Dollar Bill Lawson and Madison Reeves)
at the “Let It Glow” party at the park. It was set up in a Cinderella Castle theme and the fences were lined with posters that all of the classes had made to honor our sweet angel, Ju. Children could purchase a glow balloon and write a message to our family or in memory of Julia. The Alabaster fire and police departments were there, American Family Care (they bought Tshirts and glow sticks for all of their staff) supported us and there was even a booth set up to take photos with the school mascot dog, who is aptly named “Warrior”!
The kids played football, danced to music, ate snow cones (thanks Kona Ice) and took pictures. We even had an autographing party for the shirts the school had custom made for purchase to commemorate our arrival to Alabaster: JuCan – UCan – WarriorsCan!
As if the evening couldn’t get better, we had an almost “high speed” police escort back home to Candlewood Suites:))))). One patrol car was in front and another behind us. The instructions went something like, “whatever you do, Jonathan, don’t lose me and do everything I do.” What a thrill that money couldn’t buy!!! We giggled all the way home imagining that we were the next episode of COPS! We were pretty sure that Ju was tickled too.
Oh, Alabaster, you gave the Cobb Family memories to last a lifetime!!!! Thank you for the love from strangers and the kindness shown to a family weary from 8 months of travel and feeling the pain from losing their daughter and sister more real than it was 17 months ago. You have renewed our spirits and strengthened our faith in humanity