Lucas Pierce, a local two-year-old fighting cancer, celebrates his third birthday soon.
Michelle George is the organizer of a Mario-themed parade for him and hopes to get as many people as possible to come out and celebrate with him.
“His mom has been a really good friend of mine for going on 10 years. I was there for Lucas's birth and I was amazed at all the progressions he made throughout his life,” said George.
Pierce is fighting against neuroblastoma cancer, a childhood strain that affects his nervous system.
“He was always such a strong, go-getting kind of kid, doing everything early in his life. He was walking sooner than he should, moving couches out of the way because mom doesn't want him to go upstairs, etc,” added George.
Pierce was diagnosed in May after taking a tumble while playing in the yard with his four siblings. He hit his head but kept running around until his mom noticed that his eyes were getting puffy.
His family took him to the emergency where doctors performed multiple brain scans, which revealed a tumour. After further testing, they discovered neuroblastoma cancer.
Due to the quick growth rate of the tumour, Pierce’s chemotherapy had to start earlier than would be expected.
“But through it all, he's just been a real trooper.”
When Pierce hit his head, he hit his orbital bone. Unfortunately, cancer had been dissolving that area on his skull, and upon impact, the bone was crushed into the tumour. Doctors will need to perform reconstructive surgery on his orbital bone to restore Pierce's facial bone structure.
George spearheaded the birthday parade for him and asks everyone participating in the parade to dress up and decorate their cars in a Nintendo Mario Brothers theme.
"He is an absolute fanatic about anything Nintendo, Mario and Luigi," said George.
"I think [the parade] would be crucial to his healing because they have been so stressed and overwhelmed, and Lucas is so bewildered and not quite understanding what's going on. One day out of this whole stressful mess to celebrate this little man's birthday will make a world of difference to him and his family. For a few hours, they don't have to stress or worry about cancer anymore. All they have to do is enjoy themselves," George explained.
The parade is set for Sunday (Aug.1), starting at Heartland Fort Veterinary Hospital at 4 p.m. More details on the parade can be found here.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Lucas and his family to help pay for the multiple surgeries and hospital bills. They are almost at their goal of $5,000.