HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It is a rare site to see joy, smiles, let alone a parade in the halls of a cancer hospital. But today's Mardi Gras celebration was about a rare family, the Cobbs, who lost their daughter Julia to the disease and returned today triumphant.
"Today exceeded every expectation I ever could have had," said Jennifer Cobb, Julia's mother. She along with her husband Jonathan and their three children are walking from coast to coast---Disneyland to Disney world.
It's a walk across America we shared with you before they left in August and whose journey is chronicled daily on social media. They've crossed deserts and mountains---braved heat and cold---reaching so many others along the way who've suffered a similar loss.
"You're not crying in a corner," she says other families tell her. "We don't need to do that either. We can make a difference and I think we've inspired families to not give up."
Julia Cobb was treated at MD Anderson, as was Jonathan who survived cancer before his daughter was diagnosed. They have a connection with the hospital and the people who serve there. President of the cancer center, Ron DePinho, was there for the parade and reception.
"I think it's a testament to just how passionate people are about making a difference," he explained. "(It's) about making cancer history, which is what we're all about."
The Cobbs say Julia was so positive, a living Tinkerbell, who would have relished this journey.
She would love a trip from Disneyland to Disney World," said Jonathan. "But I think she would be a step ahead of everybody walking because she was very competitive."
They are here in Houston a week before continuing east, 25 to 30 miles a day. So far they've raised $20,000 of their $413,000 goal. They're hoping to use the money to build "JuCan Castle", a home away from home for families receiving cancer treatment at the Texas Medical Center.
"We want to leave a trail of glitter everywhere we go," Jonathan Cobb told Eyewitness News. "We don't want to just walk across America, finish, and then have nothing to look back on."
You can follow their journey here..
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