Man Meets Up With Struggling Family at a Park – They’re Shocked to See His “Friend” Standing Behind Them

Inspiring Stories

Losing someone you love is never easy. In grief, the best thing many of us can do is find a purpose in our loss and honor the person who is no longer with us. In that way, we create meaning in our lives and, hopefully, make a difference.

Two parents who lost their child to cancer are determined to do exactly that. What they weren’t expecting, though, was a visit from one of the biggest celebrities in the world to help them do it.

A Devastating Loss

Esperanza and Edwin are in mourning after losing their daughter, Lily Rose, to cancer in August 2023. But as they approach the year anniversary of her death, they’re finding solace in creating the Live for Lily Rose Foundation, a foundation dedicated to helping other children like her.

The goal of the foundation is to turn devastation into comfort and joy for other families, thus extending the light that Lily had as far and wide as possible. It isn’t an easy journey, but it’s an important one that means a lot to the family.

Isaiah Garza, a social media influencer whose purpose is to help others and do good, spent time with Lily Rose before she passed and knew the family well. When he learned they were putting their plans for a foundation into action, he called up a buddy for help: The Rock.

In a video shared on Garza’s YouTube page, he met with the couple at a park and explained he had a friend who wanted to help them.  

“My friend wants to meet you guys. I told him your story, and I know it’s been a tough journey,” he explained before asking them to turn around. When they saw who was there, they were shocked.

A Hidden Connection

Esperanza began sobbing when she saw The Rock (a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson) standing there. Moana was one of Lily Rose’s favorite movies, and she particularly loved Maui. Johnson, of course, voiced Maui in the 2016 Disney film.

“[Sometimes we] turn it on just to hear the music and to feel her… oh my God I’m in shock,” she said.

“One of the last videos I have of my baby is singing that song with her,” Edwin added.

“I’m so honored to meet you guys and I… our daughter is going to turn eight in about a month,” Johnson said. “Isaiah told me your story and I’m so sorry. I know what Lily Rose meant to you guys. It’s so heartbreaking, but there was something out of it that was really inspiring,” he continued, referencing the foundation.

He then handed the grieving parents a check for $50,000.  

“She and I always talked about helping kids, and as she was passing, I made a promise to help kiddos in her name,” a tearful Esperanza said. “When she passed I said, ‘I have to do it. I have to do it.’ And we did.”

Making a Difference

The parents couldn’t believe Johnson’s generosity and promised that his contribution would make a big difference. Edwin added that he knew Johnson had been blessed and thanked him for giving back. He explained that’s what they want to do in Lily Rose’s memory now.

“We were forced into a world that we knew nothing about. This monster, which is cancer tried to take her from us,” he choked out through tears. “And she fought and fought, and she lived another three beautiful years. I don’t know man, just thank you. That money’s going to go a long way to help a lot of kids,” he continued.

“We’re going to help these kids because we lived it. We know it… we know that feeling as a parent. We really do want to help these families because these memories are all we have left.”

Finding a Purpose

It’s impossible to watch the exchange without tearing up. Even The Rock was wiping away tears after meeting these beautiful parents who are doing everything they can to assign purpose and meaning to their daughter’s life. Lily Rose was taken too soon, but they will never, ever forget her.

It’s such a powerful reminder to all of us who have experienced loss that by finding our own purpose and following the light, we, too, can take steps to heal. Grief is an awful beast that comes in waves and when you least expect it. Sometimes, the best way to deal with that is to know that the person you’re grieving is with you in spirit.

The pain never truly goes away, but by focusing on the positive and leaning into the good, we can somehow find healing and a way to carry on.

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