On a hot and very muggy Thursday afternoon, the damp pavement of Brimacombe Drive was the host location for a remarkable welcome-home celebration.
A brave little cancer warrior, Cora Stadnyk, had a surprise welcoming as she had finished her chemotherapy treatment and came home with her parents, Jason and Shanna.
She got to ride on a float along with “Frozen” characters Elsa and Anna, and heard all of the cheering, clapping and noise-makers in her honour as family, friends and neighbours were out to welcome her home.
The four-year-old was a little overwhelmed at first, and was shy to see all these people there for her — but with the encouragement of her parents and sister Kaylee, she warmed up to all the friendly, smiling people.
Some brought balloons and many had signs, and all were happy to see her smiles.
This was a truly great and memorable way to have her come home, but this little lady had to fight hard against the acute lymphoblastic leukemia that attacked her blood and bone marrow.
This is not a fight anyone would ever wish on a person so young, but she came through it and gave hope to many who were there, with others who are also fighting cancer, or have in the past, also present to cheer her on.
At the same time as Cora was being celebrated and cheered, however, another young lady is once again facing a fight with cancer, as Ensley Akins has had to resume having cancer treatments in hospital.
All of this in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic might seem a little bit overwhelming for some people, but it’s a reminder that we all need to love and support each other.
We can never take good health for granted, and with the pandemic proving to be an ongoing huge health care challenge in addition to other challenges and illnesses, we need to be both thankful and supportive of our health care professionals and the system they work in.
If you are healthy and are able to walk or enjoy the warm sunshine this week, take a moment to be thankful, and to lift up a prayer for those who are not well and need our love and support.