Day 23…almost done!!!!

Louies’ message “Silly Faces” Bob and I are at the dinner table with Louie and Bella..  we’re all making funny faces at the camera. Funny! Thats’ what Grandparents do-teach their Grandkids to be silly, don’t take life too seriously..and they don’t get in trouble for it!  Ha Ha.

Outside Mount Brydges  heading towards Komoka, The Caradoc Public had a nice message for Bob and  Jesse’s Journey and all the kids were at the fence cheering him on. They also have a donation that will be forwarded to Jesses Journey office.  Thanks Kids! These are truly the special moments on the road.

The crew today are, Jake and Irene, Marsh O, Rob H, Peter .Tony Pomponio,  cousin Glen, and two special Newbies, Louies other  set of Grandparents, Mark and Robin Taylor from Omaha!! We had a bit of a rain delay, it is so hot out here that thunderstorms are rolling thru, but  they are moving fast. It wasn’t a long delay and it was our first break anyway. Gino Citton sent a platter of baked goods for everyone so that is good.We stopped at the Tim Hortons in Komoka. We had a special vist from Fred Bauer, owner of the Lambeth Jr D Lancers. He presented Bob with a cheque from the spring  tryouts. Rob is an alumni, he played Jr D with the Lancers at the age of 14. Hockey people are  family. That was special.  Another business man came out of his office and offered to buy Peter M and I a coffee-he left a Tim Hortons card and went back to his office and took a collection (priceless)

So we finished lunch and we are having a bit of a rain delay…we will be finished early anyway so we can wait.  I told people not to rush as this is not a race and enjoy the last moments of this walk.
Peter and I waited at the m/h at the McCormick Home at Oxford and Commissioners.  That’s are starting point tomorrow  at 8:45. am  There was a group shot taken at the London Sign coming in from Komoka, you can really start to feel the end is near and we are truly close to home. Everyone got their instructions for tomorrow and they are gone. Bob and I and Mark and Robin are waiting in the m/h, Bob is to do a live radio interview in 15 minutes so we will wait.
Until Tomorrow
Grandma Wendy
No Bad Days

Day 22 Update from the Road

Louies’ message: A close up picture of Louies hand resting on top of Grandpa Bobs’ big hand. A touching picture.

“Our Last Monday!” It’s  HOT! 33 degrees with a humidex of 40-45. I want to turn the generator on in the m/h (it runs the main air  conditioning) Silence…….oh oh, I need air today.. I’m waiting for Peter M to get here to see if we are out of propane?   Everything is okay the generator is back on..cool air.

Full house today…. Nikki, Neice Kim, Marsha O, Rob H, Jake, Glen, Kathey Franze, Anna Lowe, Michelle Mazza, Max Campbell ( played   For the  Western Michigan Broncos, Robs team) he lives in Strathroy and Robbie even played  his Jr B hockey in Strathroy for the Rockets and take it one step further, my Dad, Robs Grandfather, played hockey in Strathroy but back then it was called Senior A. Back in the day – the rink looked like a barn and they cleaned the ice by hand dragging barrels around the ice.  My mom said Dad never saw much ice time because he was always in a fight after the first puck dropped…and then kicked out.
Anyway back to the crew,Carol, Peter M, me and of course Grandpa Bob, and Uncle (Peter Garland). Marnee sent delicious brownies today…thanks Marnee! We are gearing down to the final day. Our walkers are feeling sad. I think as long as we feel like we are doing “something” for Louie, thats’ what we don’t want to end. We can’t do this walk forever ( Grandpa Bob thinks so) but our journey or fight will never end until there is a cure. Our last days are a bit shorter in distance. Our first 2 sets of 5k went quickly-We went to Tim Hortons again for lunch. Dana joined us there. The CTV news met us there and did an interview with Bob. The Tv went out to Hwy to get action shots of Bob and the Walkers, but we had a special walker join him today…Louie. Grandpa Bob and Louie out in front, hand in hand, walking..just priceless. Grandpa Bob looked the proudest and happiest hes’ been this whole trip. Holding Louies hand..So I hope you see it on the news tonight. So at the end of the day, the last 5k we are parked in front of a day care. Its’ pretty quiet, we don’t see any kids, its too hot. When all the walkers came , the lady who runs the daycare handed a zip lock bag full of coin. Another generous heart and the daycare is called Grandmas’ House!
Daughter Lisa is behind the scenes getting the final details of the gala in order. Its’ going to be a full house…Happy Birthday Bob! It’ll be a nice way to end this part of the journey.
Grandma Wendy
No Bad Days

Day 19 update from the road – Let’s hear it for Super Louie!

Wayside Inn-Paynes mills- Shedden- Iona  Louies’ message of the day ” Laughter is  good for the soul” Its’ a picture of Rob in his friend, Jeff Blashills’ ( assistant coach for Detroit Red wings) hockey equipment which is about 5x too small for Rob..with a hockey helmet sitting high on his head, hilarious, thanks for the laugh.

Newbies today are Cindy Burt, Darren Williams, & Jamie. Carrie, Zoe, Grace, Jake, Rob H Peter M Carol and me and of course Bob. Zoe brought us more cards for Louie from the grade 0ne class, they are so cute. There was one card (this kid is going to be a professional artist) it was  a scene with  lots of buildings and a figure flying like super man with a cape and everything and it said “Super Louie”.

The first 5 k is done. It is really windy today and cloudy & they are walking against the wind.  We are parked in front of a church and behind is a farm. The dairy farmer’s wife came all the way down her laneway ( I swear it must have been 5k long) to give us a donation. Peter M and I made our way, past Shedden -we parked at the Shedden Cemetary & we had an oops!! Peter M drove the m/h under some  large, low bearing tree branches and we’re stuck! Literally. We cannot move forward or back and it sounded like the top came off the M/H. We’re waiting for Grandpa Bob , Dale and Jamie to come and Help. Here they are, both Jamie and Dale climb the tree, Jamie got up on the roof, they lifted the tree branches up off the roof while Peter inched forward. It worked we were free. Jamie is a firefighter and Dale use to clear big trees for the hydro lines…so we were lucky to have two experts on board. Peter tried to blame Rob Hammond, but Rob left after the first 5k today, (Rob you’re lucky)

We had a nice lunch provided by Evelyn’s Sausage in Shedden, we had fresh sub sandwhiches. Thank-you Evelyn .    Lunch break over- we had storm clouds and it was windy this morning- London and Strathroy got the rain, the storm clouds went right by us and then the sun came out and so did the heat! It’s around 90 degrees out there.

Next 6k took us to Holland Resturant in Iona- we turned right making our way thru Iona Station and ending our day south of the 401 . Darren williams suggested we go to Dutton on Saturday- the town is having their big garage sale and car show- so we may alter our route tomorrow. So another day done , 5 more to go. It is so hard to believe that we are this close to home. While we are busy walking down the k’s my daughter Lisa, my Brother Allan and cousin Lisa Battel are all busy working on the Gala at the Marconi Club Wednesday May 30th at the Marconi Club.

Thanks Guys I know how much work goes into these things.
Grandma Wendy
No Bad Days
quick note..newbie Cindy has a blister, and neice Carrie said “oh I have a few too, I just put newskin spray on, two layers, I rub Myoflex on my sore muscles in my legs, I take i ibribrophen and go to bed.
Grandpa Bob…..he (touch wood) is good as new and all these youngins……there is something to be said about training and being prepared.  Its kind of funny to watch these younger ones  think, he’s 62, almost 63,
I can keep up no problem…..
Grandma Wendy
No Bad DAys

Day 18 update from the road – when bees attack

Start at East Elgin Highschool in Aylmer. Louies’ message of the day “The Future belongs to those who Believe in the Beauty of their Dreams”(Eleanor Roosevelt) There is a picture of Louie sitting up on the hockey bench with his Western Michigan jersey on-his hockey helmet and his skates and the caption says “Put me in Coach”.
We all met at the M&M Meats parking lot to get our group organized. We have another Newbie today, long time friend Jack Leblanc ( he helped with all our printing on the jackets, T-shirts,Hats etc.  Thanks Jack!)
Well Bob is doing his first interview of the day live with CJBK  Steve Garrison. The CJBK station have been a great support to us.
OK now we are ready! Peter and I move the m/h  a little further today 6.5k. We want to do more walking in the morning when it is cooler. Well the first action of the day over the walkie talkies….on Hwy 3 just before the Belmont Side Rd. We hear “look at all the bees!” Get in the van…get in the van!” Of course the walkers obey but Grandpa Bob thinks he can walk thru the cloud of them swinging his hat.  Two stings on the head later ,Grandpa Bob gets in the van. They moved up the road a bit and con’t their walk. Volunteers driving to meet us said they drove into a swarm of something and they were all hitting the windsheild. We’ve come to find out that they probably were wasps. Bob got lucky on that one.
Our lunch break was at Don Ferguson’s RV ( this great man loaned John and Jesse a m/h for the first walk for 4 months and also gave John another one two years later on the 10 month trek!) He did not hesitate when John approached him again with this project of ours.  Thanks so much Don ! It has been a real home away from home for us. Our grandson Oakley calls it the bus and Louie is excited to see that it had a real bed in it! Unfortunately  Don was not at the shop today, he has gone to Calgary for a family wedding.. but we had a photo -op with the staff and our crew. They even washed our black van, Jack Leblanc scrubbed with soap and a mop and the staff hosed it down with water.. You never know what job you’ll have out here on the road.
The OLD NAVY group joined us on the road today..Teresa, her mom and Dad, Nancy, another manager and staff. They all were real troopers in this heat, they kept up with Bob no problem. Rob, Nikki, Khloe and Bella, Lisa, Dale, oakley and Louie rejoined us after lunch. Cousin Trudi made us the most delicious lunch …not only was she a fantastic walker for a whole week, but also a fundraiser (trivial pursuit night) now cooking for the team out here on the road! She made a pasta salad, a chicken, broccoli,wrap in pastry (warm), devilled eggs, 12 strawberry parfaits, and a large container of ice tea with lemon. I call the m/h a moving buffet.  thanks Trudi it was delicious!
We’re ready to go to a special stop today. Niece Carrie’s two daughters have invited Uncle Bob to their school, Pierre Elliott Trudeau school. They were all outside waiting for us- a beautiful large banner- cards for Louie and Bob- a little presentation of a donation.  Grace and Zoe did a great job! Thanks !
We are off to downtown ST. Thomas . Walkers on both sides of the street. We had  a police escort to the edge of town.  We ended our day at the Wayside Inn where the mayor of Southwold  Twp., Jim McIntyre presented  3 cheques to us. What a way to end our day! Thanks Jim.Then a ling time friend Trudi and her husband Nick (owners of the Wayside Inn) hosted us for dinner and it was delicious along with a donation! ( Trudi worked for us for 8 years, 20 years ago!) Thanks Trudi and Nick! So after a long day that goes by so quickly, we have just finished our 18th day with 6 more to go!
Grandma Wendy
No Bad Days

Day 17!

It’s May 23rd and we are heading to Aylmer today. Louies’ message of the day “Seek the Wisdom of the ages, but look @ the world thru the eyes of a child.”

I’m sitting in the m/h it is 6:30am, waiting for everyone to arrive. Peter M has gone to get our coffee. Rob H just showed up. It’s going to be another HOT day ! Dana Vanderspank has joined us! long time friend of our Lisa.

So off we go driving to our starting point at theGreenline sign  outside  of Tillsonburg. Brother Gino  & Sharon are here ready to go. We have a good group again. Dana, Gino, Jake, & Bob. walking.  Rob H and Sharon in the lead car,Carol and Irene in the rear van and Peter M and I in the motor home.  They just walked the first 6.5K-took a 1/2 hr break. Brother Gino wanted cream for his feet already and blisters have started. But he is determined to walk the next 6 K with Dana’s encouragment. She’s the young one of the group!

We stop at 6k and head to Summers Corners where Mike and Trudi Wolfe are waiting. It is literally “Louie Day” at the Malahide Fire Dept. They greeted Louie with a large gift basket full of cars, colouring books et.  The Firemen greeted him with a firemen’s hat and coat his size and made him A firefighter for the day,( we got great pictures of him sitting in the pumper truck with cousin Oakley as a passenger).  The smiles could not have been wider!!!!!Louie was honking the horn and Oakley was blasting the siren.

They had a BBQ going for lunch, a raffle table set up with beautiful gift sets.  Shaw’s ice cream sent a icecream cooler and staff to serve ice cream. The Family even went on a beautiful horse wagon ride. There were two beautiful  Black horses all dressed up in their riggings.  But the big attraction was the old clunker of a car with about 6 sledge hammers.  You could take a swipe at this car and they called it “CRUSH DUCHENNE’ how appropriate!

So Grandpa Bob took some mighty swings at it, and Louie’s Dad, Rob just hammered that  car so hard that you would think he  was hammering  Duchenne, which I’m sure he was! Uncle Dale went at it really hard as well. Then Joey and his best friend Jason Williams took a turn.  Joey and Jason met up with us at summers corners, Jason won a Stanley Cup in 2000 with the Detroit Red Wings and he is
with the Pittsburg Penquins ( they give  the players a generous amount every Christmas to donate to the charity of their choice, and you guessed it , he gave it to Bobs’ Walk. Thanks Jason!)
They had a fellow there with birds of prey, a falcon and a bald eagle. There were other newbies waiting at the firehall, a nice surprise, Kathy and Joe Franze and sister Anna, And Russell joined us again. So to end our visit at Summers Corners Louie got to climb into a big backhoe with the operator and Louie worked the control with one hand and the other hand was covering his ear because when that bucket came down hard on that car it made the loudest noise. With each blow the crowd cheered and Louie was in awe!  Then the operator picked that darn car up with the claw , turned it on its side, then flipped it on its roof!  It felt like we had just witnessed a  battle with a  1000lb car and a little boy working the controls, and the little guy won against this monster of a foe!
We all regrouped and headed over to Summers Corners Public School where all the kids were waiting and cheering. They handed Grandpa Bob a jar full of money, they haad done a little play at school and charged admission with the proceeds going to the walk. Thank you so much kids!
We proceeded to do the next 5k, we had a pumper truck in the lead, two police cruisers front and back, the m/h, our two vans , Rob and Nikkis van , Lisa and Dales’ van. We’re in a parade again! We had lots of walkers again & John D joined us as well. Aylmer was busy and generous. So after we got thru town, but just before we passed East Elgin Highschool where some of the students were waiting to  cheer Bob on.  We still had  another 5k to do , we were a little out of order because of the festivities but not to worry, Grandpa Bob does not want any short cuts, he wants to walk every step. So we lose a few of our team and get two new ones! Joey & Jay, Russel, Lisa, Dale & kids, Rob & Nikki and kids leave.  Two employees from Old Navy join in! We back track a bit and walk the last 5 k.
A busy but GREAT day! Thanks to Mike and Trudi Wolfe and the kind hearted fire fighters and everyone else at Summers Corners. Thank you so much! Today was alot of fun for us, but especially our grandchildren and Louie. You really brightend his day! Tomorrow we start at the  Highschool at the end of Aylmer heading towards St. Thomas.
Grandma Wendy
NO Bad Days!

New update from Grandma Wendy!

Mount Elgin- Tillsonburg-Hwy 3 Ottercreek.   Bellas’ message of the day “Quick Grandpa, while Mammas’ not looking!” He had bought her a chocolate icecream cone at  African Lion Safari (chocolate, no less). We turn around and her little mouth is completely covered in chocolate. She’s looking at us as if to say “What” I haven’t done anything!? why are you looking at me…”
Peter Garland is with us today again..”We all love Uncle Pete”. Rob H, Carol, Peter M myself and of course, Grandpa Bob. light crew to start the day. I asked for help today when we go thru Tillsonburg, the town looks  big. We stopped ar Coyles on Hwy 19 today, it happened to be our lunch stop. Joey and Russell are joining us there. Joey also has a friend who works at Kelseys in town who wanted to provide us with lunch today. So 8 entres’ later, Thanks Deana, it was great.
So much for the weather  staying cool..it was so nice this morning and now the heat is high again.So Bob, Russel, Joey and Rob H are walking  the 3rd 5k. On our break this time an old friend of ours, (our boys went to St. Anthony’s together) and you will remember him from Channel 10 news. and he now works for the Tillsonburg radio station, Daryl McInnes. So that was a nice surprise. Bob also had another live interview with the same station.  A 3rd reporter met up with us and Bob introduced him to Peter Garland and he said I know him, he’s a legend.  Peter G. says with a smile, “I used to be Somebody..but now I’m somebody else” His sayings are great.
So here we go thru Tillsonburg downtown which is fairly long-but it was kiind of quiet today!  Oh well hope Aylmer is a bit more lively….and if our friend Mike Wolfe has anything to do with it…rumour has it he has taken over the town for Grandpa Bob.
So here Peter M. and I sit waiting for the last 5k to finish when we get two wayward visitors from Windsor, Bob’s Brother Gino and wife Sharon., with two big boxes of pastries and donuts.  Bob does not know that  they are here. Time to go home for the night. Rob, Nikki, Bella and Louie are coming! There’s a  big day planned for Louie in  Aylmer thanks to Mike Wolfe and Trudi…
Grandma Wendy
No Bad Days

Day 14! Update from Grandma Wendy: Love, Courage, Hope

It’s Sunday and our starting point is Dundas St. Woodstock. Another beautiful day! We cannot believe the weather!….hopefully it will continue..(cooler would be nice)

Louies’ message for today, “Together We Can Do Anything!” The picture is of Grandpa Bob and Louie working on his new swing set. Grandpa spent 8hrs in the hot sun putting that thing together! Louie helped of course, he handed Grandpa parts,played with the box, then he went in to have his lunch, then he had his nap, and when he woke up Grandpa was almost done! The other picture is Louie holding a hammer, and Grandpa his holding the dowel (you trust your grandkids with anything!) they were putting Bellas’ new Princess shopping cart together for her birthday.
We have another Newbie with us today, longtime friend of Grandpa  Bobs’  Vaughn Washington. Niece Rachel has come back , she went to Quebec on her grade 8 class trip. She was excited to tell me that they went to the Bascillica in Quebec. She lit a candle for Louie and Derrick and it stays lit. They take these candles to the basement, still lit until they burn out on their own. They have mass 365 days a year… it’s called the church of miracles and Rachel saw canes, medical supports for arms legs, etc. and they were on racks, people left them behind  after they have been healed! We pray that Louie gets the miracle he needs and can leave his night braces there some day! We pray for that miracle everyday!
So we parked outside Centreville at a Pentacostal Church and there is a little park behind it. Good place to have lunch. Lisa , Oakley and Khloe have joined us for lunch. Oakley said to his mom “I have to see Grandpa, I have his shirt on!” Miss Khloe had her Old Navy hat on,
a red tutu, pom-poms and a sign for Grandpa that says “You’re half way there”. Rob Hammonds buddies showed on their speed bikes waiting to escort Bob into town. Newbie Marnee Hammond showed up with her famous lemon squares, and their son Blair gave Bob a fancy thermos from his union filled with lemonade. The saying that “friends are the family we choose”  well the Hammonds are those friends… we have been lifelong friends and our girls Lisa and Nicole have been together since kindergarten. Our Lisa knows Ingersoll well as she use to go to Grandma Hammonds with Nicole all the time. I guess we have been together for so long that the Hammonds call Bob the “6th Hammond” (Rob H is one of 5 brothers)
So as we enter the town of Ingersoll, Rob H’s dad George is waiting to walk with Bob thru town. The family planned his 76th birthday to be the same day as  Bob walking thru town. There they all were in a large group holing a huge, long sign welcoming Grandpa Bob and even me too!!
Now the Hammond family are no strangers to strife. Their Nephew Lucas was diagnosed with Lukemia years ago  (and we used to hold a golf tournment every year in his honour for childhood cancer) I’m so happy to say we no longer do it for Lucas because I saw him today and he is a healthy, smiling, vibrant teenager! I had bought one of his paintings he had done for the gold auction, (he was quite the artist) and when I look at it I see LOVE-COURAGE-HOPE! I bought the next one he did the following year and they are always a reminder to us to be brave and to have courage and to always have HOPE!
In the same family another nephew has been born with a rare condition with many challenges,  And There they all were, cheering us on..we are not alone in this fight, we maybe fighting different diseases, but we are all hoping for the same thing..to keep our children healthy and safe. Our son Joey coaches minor hockey and he had a few of his boys and families join us on the walk. Thanks guys!
We finished our day at the Salford Sign on Hwy 19.  Another HOT, exhausting but exhilarating day! We lose Debbie today, back to work. Thanks sister Deb-we love ya!
Thanks Shawn see you next weekend!
Grandma Wendy
No Bad Days!
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