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Neighbors Have Sweet Surprise for Young Cancer Survivor

It's a pandemic-friendly welcome
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2020 10:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – Courtney "Coco" Johnson didn't think there would be much of a celebration when she finished chemotherapy this week amid the coronavirus pandemic. The 15-year-old was very, very wrong. Coco, whose eighth-grade graduation last June came on the same day as her diagnosis with a Ewing sarcoma in her left femur, couldn't have the usual party upon completing her final treatment at Children's Hospital Los Angeles on Tuesday because patients are limited to one visitor and her immune system will be weakened for six months regardless. Even at home, family members wear masks in an effort to keep her from getting sick. She therefore settled for ringing a bell Tuesday after being serenaded by two nurses. But her friends in Pasadena had a surprise in store—what BuzzFeed calls "a coronavirus-appropriate parade."

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Dozens of friends parked vehicles along the family's street, each set up as a kind of parade float, complete with balloons, streamers, and signs. "When we turned the corner, it was very emotional for all of us," Coco’s mother, April Danz, tells BuzzFeed. Indeed, a cellphone video viewed 3.5 million times shows Coco—who was forced to miss her first year of high school—look at her mom, mouth wide. After passing a few cars, she bursts into tears. "It was really overwhelming, I was just shocked. I was so surprised," she tells NBC News. Danz had shared the video on Twitter after actor John Krasinski put out a call for good news, per Fox News. "This is one of the greatest things I've seen," he replied. Danz said it was an amazing example of community. "I think people are seeing that they have a village, too," she tells NBC. "Everyone's really coming together right now." (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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