A girl from Morinville, Alta., had a Halloween weekend to remember this year despite a terminal brain cancer diagnosis.
Arizona Burns, 9, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer that does not respond to chemotherapy or radiation, at the beginning of October. Her medical team has given Burns six months to live.
Her mother, Sharice Cardinal, organized a Halloween parade for Burns as a way to make the holiday extra special.
“We want to surround her with love and happiness,” Cardinal said. “It’s a really hard time for all of us.
“But I think love always overpowers anything so I just want to surround her with love and happiness, and make the best of everything.”
Hundreds of costumed people visited and dropped off treats at a distance for Burns on Saturday.
Cardinal said that she made the decision not to go through with aggressive treatment for her daughter so Burns could enjoy the time she has left.
“I have a lot of faith in that.”
Cardinal added that Burns is a “sassy” girl who knows what she wants and was excited by Saturday’s parade.
“We just want to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts for all the love and support,” Cardinal said.
The family is raising money through a GoFundMe page to help make Burns’ last months memorable.
Shoutout from Ryan Reynolds
Burns’ journey didn’t just catch the attention of locals — it also gained attention from Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds, who sent a video message directly to Burns on Friday.
“I’ve heard a lot about your story,” Reynolds said. “You’re obviously going through a lot. And the reason that your story got all the way over to me in New York is because you are surrounded by people that are immensely in love with you. There is probably no greater gift in this world.
“I’m thinking about you, I’m sending you tons of love, and I hope that I am lucky enough to get to get to meet you in person one of these days.”
Burns lives in Morinville with her mother, an older brother and a baby sister.
The town of Morinville is about 40 kilometres north of Edmonton.