HAMPTON, Va. - Car parades are commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic to celebrate special people and life events.
Wednesday, people filled one Hampton neighborhood to support a young girl during her battle with cancer.
Those coming out to support Maddie Davis included her teacher, Alicia Reeves.
“She has touched so many people,” Reeves said.
The 11-year-old had battled brain cancer for the past six years, enduring numerous brain and spinal tumors, surgeries and treatments.
But through her fight, those close to her say she's stayed strong while showing lots of love along the way.
“She has fought more than anybody I know,” Reeves said.
One of Davis’s other teachers, Lisa Gray, read a statement to News 3 on behalf of the Davis family.
“She has not spent one minute of that fight alone, and neither have we,” the Davis family said in a statement. “She is approaching the finish line, soon to be victorious and cancer-free, riding a unicorn through the purple skies of ‘nonacancerland.’ She has had and has given us a beautiful life full of joy, love, beauty and grace.”
A community, including Hampton Fire & Rescue, came out in droves, driving by Davis’s home showing love and support, with Davis looking and waving on.
“We can't go to her house and give her a hug,” Reeves said. “It's very important for us to be there in this type of sense.”
“You think about your own children in a case like this,” Hampton Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Anthony Chittum said. “She's a young lady I've met several times who, her spirit and just the way she lives her life, is something to be admired.”
On May 11, Maddie's family announced that she has passed away.
"I MOTHL [more than love] you my best friend. I will miss you every second of every day and can not wait to see all the signs you said would be coming our way. We are so proud of you and so humbled that we were deemed worthy of sharing your brief time on this imperfect world," they wrote in a Facebook post.
Maddie's family said that they "reject the idea that she lost her battle," going on to say she emerged victorious because she is finally cancer-free.