Aldergrove’s Ariel Seydel, who is battling brain cancer, greeted Santa Claus at a safe distance on Saturday, May 2, as people from the community drove by for a surprise birthday parade. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

‘Best day ever’: Aldergrove joins together to surprise birthday girl battling brain cancer

Ariel Seydel, cooped up at home during the pandemic, got her very own parade for her sixth birthday

For a child battling terminal brain cancer, the milestone of her sixth birthday Saturday was no small feat.

Aldergrove’s Ariel Seydel started her latest round of chemotherapy at BC Children’s Hospital on Friday, the day before her birthday.

Her mother, Makaila, said the treatment – in order to limit the growth of the tumor in her brain – left her with a high fever, frequent vomiting, migraines, and dizziness.

“Thankfully, she was in good, energetic spirits for her birthday” the very next day, Makaila said.

Little did either of them know just how big of a surprise the family’s growing support network in Aldergrove planned for the brave little girl.

Just after 2 p.m., a birthday parade complete with a fire engine, 10 big rigs, an RCMP car, and other vehicles, drove by the front of Ariel’s home.

There was even a socially-distant parade on foot with guests including a dancing dinosaur, two Disney princesses, and her good friend, Santa Claus.

[Story continues below]

RELATED: ‘Superhero’ five-year-old from Aldergrove combats fifth round of chemo this Christmas

Prior to the first COVID-19 outbreak in B.C., Ariel and her parents had planned a Candyland-themed birthday party with all of her friends from school.

But provincial physical-distancing regulations put a damper on in-person events, and the Seydels couldn’t take any risks with Ariel’s immunity being compromised.

The community “shockingly” still found a way to celebrate, said mom Makaila.

“They pulled off the biggest and greatest birthday parade for her.” Ariel had such a good time that the six-year-old kept whispering to her mom that Saturday was “the best day ever.”

Ariel had such a good time that the six-year-old kept whispering to her mom that Saturday was “the best day ever.”

She was so excited that parents Makaila and Shea had to remind her to keep her distance from all of the people she knew and loved in their cars – especially those from school.

“Thank you so much for making my child smile,” Mom said later.

[Story continues below]

RELATED: A heart-warming outpouring of support for Aldergrove family dealing with juvenile cancer

By the end of the procession, Ariel had a pile of gifts that had been handed to her mom through car windows.

She had seen Frozen princesses Elsa and Anna make snow in front of her, and played with her new bubble machines.

The parade was a welcome distraction from the chemotherapy the six-year-old will have to endure every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until May 29.

As a result of her cancer, craniopharyngioma, Ariel can only see out of her right eye.

It’s been a steady decline in vision for the child, since February 2018, when doctors first told her family the news.

Makaila and Shea made the decision to relocate from Vancouver Island to Aldergrove to be closer to BC Children’s Hospital for Ariel’s treatment.

Those wanting to support the family can do so at gofundme.com.

AldergroveCancerCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Aldergrove resident Ariel Seydel, who is battling brain cancer, danced to Baby Shark on her sixth birthday, Saturday, during a surprise visit from an anonymous dancing dinosaur. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Just Posted

B.C. government invests $7.5 million through Creative BC to help struggling musicians

Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, led industry consultations on supports during the pandemic

Fort Gallery re-opens part time to public with exhibition of artist Richard Bond’s work

Fraser Prospect continues Fraser River themed project that the gallery began in January

Langley beekeepers on alert for giant honeybee-murdering hornets recently sighted

Aldergrove beekeeper Bryn Jones ‘concerned’ after South Langley giant Asian hornet sighting

McLeod Athletic Park still closed as $5 million upgrades near completion

Park will host National Track and Field Championships and BC High School Championships

Beatniks Bistro donates $4,000 to Langley School District Foundation

Executive director Susan Cairns said $32,500 is spent every week to help feed Langley families

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read