Cancer survivor shares special bond with Strawberry Festival’s Rock-It the Robot

Don Varnum and Rock-It the Robot share a special bond as they wind their way through the Strawberry Festival.

"The first time we went out I enjoyed it," Varnum said. "I enjoyed what I did. I enjoyed the Rock-It."

Varnum began volunteering at the Strawberry Festival three years ago after being diagnosed with leukemia, a form of blood cancer. 

His daughter signed him up in the hopes it would take his mind off of cancer treatment.

"It definitely gives you a different perspective on life once you experience this," Varnum explained.

Varnum’s job is to guide Rock-It, a giant, high-tech body puppet on wheels, through the large festival crowds.

"He trusts me and I trust him," said Varnum. "I'm in the background trying to help get him where he needs to go and watch things around him, make sure everything stays safe."

That trust is at the core of their friendship, which is a special bond that may last a lifetime.