Those traveling through the Crown Point community of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada last Wednesday were probably confused.
Over a thousand people dressed up in their Halloween spookiness having a parade, a bash and a ball.
Two weeks previous, Nick and Kira Hurdakis were told by their doctors that their 5- years- old son Alexandros had only a few weeks, possibly months to live.
Alex has suffered from brain tumors since he was 11- months- old.
He has been going through experimental treatments since, and they kept the lesions at bay, racking up great debt in the process.
But now the treatments are no longer effective.
The tumor is back, and at such a stage, as to be inoperable and incurable.
“With heavy heart we would like to inform everyone for an update on our warrior,” read a post from the families GoFundMe page, which was set-up when first diagnosed to help with experimental treatments.
“Today we had a visit from Alex’s doctors. They will be surprised if Alex be with us next week.”
A GoFundMe page, gofundme, created on Alex’s behalf has raised more than $41,000 and details the family’s journey since Alex’s diagnosis at 11 months. While parents Nick and Kira are struggling to keep up with Alex’s medical needs, “their bills are piling up,” the site reads. Between hospital bills, parking fees, hotel stays for early morning appointments, and all the days off it takes to attend to Alex’s needs, the family struggles.
In the latest update to the site, released a week before the Halloween parade, Tzouanakis told Anderson doctors would be “surprised” if Alex made it through the week. A shunt that takes pressure off his brain is keeping him alive, she said, and doctors told the family they don’t expect him to last more than two months.
His parents, wanting to make his remaining time as enjoyable and meaningful as possible asked him if there was anywhere he wanted to go, anything he wanted to do, anybody he wanted to see.
I want to see monsters.”
He wanted to visit a famous haunted house attraction in nearby Niagara Falls, but their doctors informed them that he was now to sick to go.
Family friend Paula Tzouanakis Anderson shared the sad information on the Crown Point Community Facebook Page, expressing her wish to have an early Halloween due to the circumstances.
“Time is limited so we just wanted to make him happy and bring Halloween to him.”
Everything was arranged—from closing down Argyle Street and getting the help of Hamilton police and firefighters to arranging volunteer face painters, popcorn and cotton candy vendors, and a dozen sports cars decked out in Halloween decorations—in little over two days.
They expected maybe three hundred people, which in itself is impressive.
Over 1000 members of the community showed up, many in full gear.
Nick and Kira carried Alex through witches, zombies, mummies and the like.
Many of the dogs were likewise in costume.
Local sport mascots showed up.
The police came by so Alex could play with the siren and the local Fire Department came in their firetruck.
Said Paula, “So many individuals came together to make this night great. I started crying. It was just amazing. Alex was waving to every single person in the crowd. He knew it was for him.
You could see the love in his eyes.
The incredible part was, these were mostly complete strangers. I hugged so many people I didn't know existed."
For Nick and Cara, words can’t adequately describe their gratitude and awe of their community.
Like a giant universal hand helping lift them up in this time of shock and sadness and grief.
Neighbor Ariane Clark lost her 3-year-old daughter Ellery to cancer in 2019, and whilst attending the parade, she saw once again how a true community can help you from sinking beneath the surface.
Wrote Ariana, “It’s humbling and heartbreaking to witness this community come together every single time to support families like ours.
I had chills, I cried a lot, I smiled a lot. This place, I swear, there is nothing like it.”
Said Paula, "I felt every emotion that you could imagine; tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of hope. The sense of community was just amazing.
They showed up for him."
Expressed Nick, "He was really happy, waving and high-fiving everyone even though he was exhausted.
We never expected so many people to help out. It was something else.
There are no words."
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