Cancer survivor’s family plans celebratory car parade

10-year-old Addison Rivera celebrates the completion of her cancer treatment after two years. Courtesy

After more than two years, three surgeries, six transfusions, countless hospital visits, and 902 doses of 11 different chemotherapy drugs, 10-year-old Addison Rivera is now cancer-free.

The Valencia resident had been fighting acute lymphatic leukemia, a type of blood cancer, and it’s been a two-year battle both Addison and her mother Cassandra Rivera agree was not an easy one.

So now that she’s finally finished with cancer treatment, it’s time to celebrate, with the Rivera family planning a socially distant car parade Jan. 9.

“We just want to keep it really, really safe, too, so (Addison’s) really adamant that people stay in their cars, not get out, keep their mask on,” Cassandra said. “So we’re just taking as many precautions as we can, but still having fun.” 

The parade is set to be held in the Valencia United Methodist Church’s parking lot, which has been the Rivera family’s church since Addison was little, according to Kelley Cannizzaro, the church’s director of family ministries.

Addison Rivera, second from left, her mother Cassandra, father Ricardo, and brother Micah, left to right, pose with their “Fight like a Unicorn” shirts. Courtesy

“It’s just been a blessing and a privilege to be able to do what we can to help them through this time,” Cannizzaro said. “And we’re just so thankful that our prayers and their prayers have been answered and that she’s done with her treatment and that her future is looking bright.”

In addition to the parade, Brewery Draconum co-owners Caroline and Ben Law have set up a special kids menu in honor of Addison the day of the parade, complete with some of Addison’s favorites: hot dogs, along with magical mashed potatoes and pink potion in line with Addison’s “fight like a unicorn” mantra.

“She’s into unicorns and she’s into magical stuff like that, so … we just wanted to put something together that could be special for her, … something that just kind of celebrates Addison, especially because she can’t have the big party that she wants right now,” Caroline Law said.

All adult entrees are also expected to be 10% off with the mention of Addison and her end-of-cancer celebration, Law added.

Addison’s end-of-treatment car parade is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, with participants asked to meet at Granary Square, located at 25830 McBean Parkway in Valencia, before heading to the church at 2:30 p.m. Brewery Draconum is located at 24407 Main St. in Newhall.

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