Local Child with Cancer Gets His Own Birthday Parade

Boy watching Birthday Parade
A rear view of a boy watching a fire engine drive by during a parade. | Image by Yobro10

Rylan Pruitt, from Fort Worth, turned 6 years old on Friday, January 14. He is a boy who loves engines (the louder, the better), dinosaurs, and Spiderman, and who loves to dance and create Tik Tok videos with his mom. Although he is fighting brain cancer, he flew back home from St. Jude to experience an unforgettable birthday parade just for him.   

Rylan was diagnosed with brain cancer in May 2021. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he underwent chemotherapy for four months and received thirty rounds of radiation.

He is being treated in Memphis, Tennessee, at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A routine scan undergone on Tuesday, January 11 before traveling back home to Fort Worth showed that the cancer had spread to his spine. Since he recently completed his rounds for treatment, he will stay home for six weeks and then return to St. Jude.   

For Rylan’s birthday, his family organized a parade to drive by their home, and they ended up receiving more attention than they ever thought was possible. Fox 4 stated that participants staged and organized the parade at nearby Eaton High School, following behind the line of police cars leading to Rylan’s home.   

A video of the event was live-streamed from the page Rylan Strong, Team Beans, on Facebook. It was a cold and windy day, so Rylan was tucked warmly in his garage.

The parade began with a large group of motorcycles, and one of the riders brought a birthday gift to Rylan in the garage. Then a line of police cars with flashing lights and loud sirens drove by.

One of the police cars stopped, and the officer walked up to Rylan and told him they had something for him. In the background, more officers were walking towards Rylan with gifts in their hands.   

The officer stood by and watched the parade with Rylan. There were massive trucks, cars with revving engines and smoke, police motorcycles, fire trucks, families waving and yelling happy birthday, multiple people handing gifts out their windows, and even a cement truck. “They’re all here for you,” the officer tells Rylan.   

Thirty-nine different enforcement agencies responded to Rylan’s birthday celebration. The event lasted over an hour, with more than one-thousand vehicles parading past the boy.

His family posted a picture on Facebook with Rylan surrounded by gifts and balloons. “We are so grateful to be part of such an amazing community,” his mom, Marisa, stated.   

Mike, Rylan’s father, said in the live-stream video, “I know there’s some prayer warriors out there… so please, if that’s what you do, please do it. That’s what we need. He’s only 6, and he has brightened the world and nobody’s ready to let him go.”       

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