CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake teen who’s battling cancer got a surprise parade on Wednesday.
Fourteen-year-old Ames Relan was supposed to go on a trip to Disney World and Universal Studios, which was made possible through the help of Chartways Federal Credit Union’s We Promise Foundation.
But, COVID-19 made the trip impossible at this time.
“It was something that happened,” Relan said. “It didn’t bum me out too much. I knew I would get to go eventually. It was just something that happened, not a major disappointment.”
To make up for the delayed trip and to show their continued support, We Promise’s Board of Trustees, staff, Chartway’s Board of Directors, employees, Toby’s Dream Foundation, Old Dominion University cheerleaders and the school’s mascot, Big Blue, paraded through Relan’s neighborhood.
“I hope he knows how much this community loves and cares about him,” said We Promise Executive Director Karen Lane. “That’s why we’re behind him cheering for him.”
Lane says the foundation helps hundreds of kids each year raise funds for their wishes.
“Unfortunately due to COVID, those wishes are on hold. We’re trying to find safe and social distance ways to help keep their strength and hope up while they fight these battles. That’s what we’re doing here today,” she said.
Relan says he was expecting a parade, but not for it to be filmed.
“I thought it was going to be something small not, you know, this big,” he said.
The teen was happy to see many come out to cheer him on.
“It was nice knowing people would come out and support,” he said.
But those who watched from his front yard with him weren’t surprised that people are supporting him.
“He could not be a better human being,” said Relan’s father Adam.
Adam Relan says his son was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer at 18 months and he’s been fighting ever since.
“We’re had hurdles to overcome but he’s beaten every one. He’s been doing fantastic, which is unbelievable,” he said.
Relan is looking forward to his trip to Florida once it is safe to go. He says he chose Disney World because it’s a place his whole family can enjoy.
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