To some people, it seems like the world is ending and things will never get back to normal, but that is not the case for a Pasadena, California, teen who received her final round of chemotherapy on Tuesday and was cleared to go home.
Under normal circumstances, Coco would have been sent off with a large celebration at the hospital where she rang the bell, but because of the coronavirus, she was allowed only a small gathering of immediate family and a couple of staff members before she went home.
To her surprise, however, the community lined the street to celebrate her return home; they cheered her on as she and her mom April Danz drove past cars decorated with posters, streamers and balloons.
According to Buzzfeed, Danz explained to her friend Sonia Singla that she was upset that they couldn’t celebrate Coco because of the risk with the coronavirus.
“I just felt like she’s gone through this whole thing and we’ve been talking about having a party,” Danz said. “I felt so bad for her.”
So Singla took it upon herself to plan something special for Coco. She contacted some of their closest friends and shared her idea — something she called a “reverse parade,” meaning everybody would remain in their cars to continue abiding by social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other community members caught wind of the plan and decided to participate as well. As Danz and Coco turned down their road, Danz was expecting to see only a few familiar faces, but she was just as shocked as Coco to see dozens of community members waving and cheering for her daughter.
“When we turned the corner, it was very emotional for all of us,” Danz said.
“We’ve been pretty stoic for, honestly, 10 months and it was just the biggest emotional release to have her ring that bell and then turn the corner and see all these people who’ve been there for us,” she added.
Coco immediately began sobbing and waving at everybody who came out to show their love and support to her.
“I was just completely overwhelmed,” Coco said. “I wasn’t expecting anything, and I was just so surprised and grateful that everyone showed up to celebrate me.”
The same day as Coco’s return home, actor John Krasinski published a tweet asking his followers to share some good news during all of the chaos that the coronavirus has brought to the world.
Danz responded with a video of Coco’s special homecoming and explained that she had finished her final round of chemo only the day before.
— April Danz (@momuses) March 25, 2020
Krasinski saw it and responded with joy and support for Coco soon after.
Well this is one of the greatest things I’ve seen. Welcome home Coco!!
— John Krasinski (@johnkrasinski) March 25, 2020
It didn’t take long for the video to go viral — and Danz was not surprised at all.
“I think it struck a chord in the country right now because people are needing to lean on others and get to know their neighbors,” she said.
Coco was again overwhelmed once she started seeing all of the supportive comments people were making in response to the viral video.
“All the thousands of comments are so nice,” she said. “I’ve been reading all of them.”
A cheer from me to Coco! Congrats on finishing her last chemo….and watching these people proves once again…people are kind… https://t.co/i9rq3ymVu5
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) March 26, 2020
— Chris Meloni (@Chris_Meloni) March 26, 2020
Buzzfeed reported that Coco is hopeful that her story will continue to inspire people through the long stretch of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s important to stick together and support each other in this hard time,” Coco said.
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