ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — A little fighter from Arlington Heights was in for a massive surprise on Sunday.
Dylan Schroeder, 6, has spent half his life fighting cancer. On Sunday, he took his last chemotherapy treatment – and as CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, the community made it a day to remember.
Trucks came rolling down the block in a line that never seemed to end, packing the Schroeders’ small neighborhood street. Trucks of every kind were involved – semis, dump trucks fire trucks, Caterpillar construction machines, honking horns and sounding sirens.
You could call it an obsession for the little guy. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas introduced us to Dylan and his family a week ago Friday.
“Dylan would prefer a construction site over Disney World,” said his father, Fred Schroeder. “He deserves it. He deserves every minute of it.”
Dylan is known to his family as Nina Dylan. “Ninja” was one of his first words as a baby – and it’s fitting, given the battle he has fought and now won.
“He kicked, as the sign says, cancer in its butt,” Fred Schroeder said.
Dylan has spent three of his six years on this earth with leukemia.
“He takes his last chemo pill tonight,” said Dylan’s mother, Joanna Schroeder. “That’s going to be really emotional.”
But for a moment in time, all that worry and anxiety went away when that parade of trucks came through.
“It just fills your heart,” Joanna Schroeder said. “It makes every single – every tear, every difficult day just really worth it – just to be able to give him this at the end.”
“He’s loving this and I’m so grateful. I’m trying not to choke up here,” Fred Schroeder said, “and I don’t know what to say other than just thank you to everybody.”
Every vehicle in the parade – whether from a first responder or a construction company, played a part in this huge surprise for Dylan.
“Awesome!” Dylan said of the sight.
The procession of vehicles lasted for clos to two hours.
“It was just incredible,” Joanna Schroeder said. “I could go on and on.”
“Just the sheer quantity – the quantity of trucks,” Fred Schroeder said. “It was just endless.”
And it was all for a boy who has shown an endless amount of fighting spirit, during a time when we could all use more of it.
Dylan plans to donate any toys he got on Sunday back to the hospital. He rings a bell to signify the end of his treatment on Monday.
Also From CBS Chicago: