Hugo the HopeMobile returned to California one week ago. After three weeks, 3 days, 28 states, and well over 7,000 miles, it has taken me an entire week to process all that has happened so that I can place some of it into words. I feel that it will take my entire lifetime to fully grasp the meaning of this epic journey. I wish– I wish there were words big enough, wide enough and deep enough to describe to you how much this trip has impacted me. I am a different person than when I left home on June 17th.
Being able to visit so many places and having the opportunity to meet absolutely amazing people has made my heart bigger. I love how there is always room for more love in our hearts!!! The people I met taught me to have a wider view of how we need to give without holding back and how we need to express our love with passion and action. I love how when we set out to give our love away, it always comes back so much bigger than what we give.
I witnessed God’s mercy, grace, and His goodness. I felt His deep love.
People ask me now if it was sad to visit the children who are very, very sick. It was just the opposite. As much as I hate what cancer does and as much as I hate the suffering it causes, meeting the children was a joy! They gave me so much more than I could ever give them; that is the plain truth.
At each stop, I thought of all of the children I know who have left this Earth way too soon because of cancer. As thoughts of these children who are no longer here filled my mind, my heart went immediately to all the people who suffer with this kind of hole in their hearts. I know there is nothing that can fill that hole.
Deep, deep love remains. This deep love has given birth to many forms of hope that help children with cancer. While we were in Philadelphia, Mom and I had the great pleasure and honor of meeting Joe and Ali McDonough from Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. We loved meeting and talking with them! By combining their love for Andrew with their own enthusiasm and positive outlook, they have been able to raise money that is desperately needed for pediatric cancer research.
Now, I need, and want, to give a very special thanks to Joann, Bill, and Char from Alexa Nawrocki Pediatric Cancer Foundation. This foundation is named after Joann and Bill Nawrocki’s daughter, Alexa. Alexa battled cancer when she was two. In her loving memory, they began helping others.
Imagine what it must feel like to have someone give you food when your child is fighting for their life.
Imagine what it must feel like to have someone help you financially when it is time to bury your child.
Imagine how I felt when I met Joann for the very first time on our Hope Tour and she presented me with a check from Alexa’s Foundation to help toward our mission!
What means the most, is not the money, but they believe what I am doing is important—that it can make a difference. From the deepest part of my heart, I want to thank Joann, Bill, Char, and Alexa’s Foundation.