Ariah Cook is battling third stage glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer, and has been going in and out of the hospital for chemotherapy.
Certain stories can restore our faith in humanity. Kindness has a way to impact people in ways beyond our imagination. The positive actions of people give others just a little more hope to go on and humanity wins a little more.
Those living with a terminal illness often realize how precious life is as their time begins to run short. But how does one explain life or death to a child? It is the hardest thing to do. But this town of Ulster, Pennsylvania, decided to make sure the time one little girl had on earth is filled with happy moments. The little girl was fighting stage 3 glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer.
Grandmom of Ariah Cook, 6, is one of the first people to put up holiday decorations every year. However, this year the family has been struggling with her treatment keeping them busy, according to Good Morning America (GMA). Ariah's grandmother, with whom she lives, did not feel the holiday spirit so the neighbors decided to help the family instead.
While Ariah is going through chemotherapy, the people around her wanted to make sure that she has something to smile for, according to ABC7 Chicago.
They started the Facebook event page "Light up for Ariah Project!" to decorate Ulster earlier than usual. "While her prognosis isn't the brightest, we will show her that our hope and love for her is! Attention all of Ulster!! As most of you know, one of our neighborhood kiddos is having a rough time battling cancer. We would like to give her all the smiles we can, together!! So let's do something super fun and bring this baby girl some Joy! [sic]," said the duo who started the project, Jody Davidson and Amber Gray.
"Amber and I came up with the idea to light the town up from one end of Main Street to the other and all in between," Jody told GMA. Amber printed fliers to ask Ulster to decorate for all holidays, and it was done in just two days.
The two women were more inclined to do this good deed since their children go to school with Ariah and her sister Selene. "She is one of the happiest girls we have ever met. She always has a smile on her face and that helps all of us to keep a smile on ours," Jody said.
She further added that she has "some past family history with this" so she's familiar with it. They took this step "just to bring happiness" to their hometown small community, adding that "we're here for them for anything."
Soon, people from other towns also got involved. One person on Facebook said, "I just drove through your town and the decorations I saw made me cry. What a sweet thing to do! You guys are amazing. I dedicate my Halloween lights to Ariah here in Litchfield!"
Not only did the town help cheer Ariah up by lighting it up, when she got out of the hospital after a five-day stay, but multiple fire companies also showed up to escort her home in style.
On September 30th, which is when Ariah was coming home, Amber said on Facebook, "Our brave girl comes home! She is feeling really good and will be coming through town to see the lights!!! If you haven't put up anything yet you still have time!!! We are going to stand on 220 whether it rains or not and welcome her back into town!!!"
The efforts the community went to was a hit. "She loves it. Every day there is a new decoration that pops up in town," Jody said. "She absolutely loves Christmas, and with the unknowns of her time here on earth with us, most of the decorations are Christmas and her favorite color purple. She enjoys her family pushing her around town to see all the lights and decorations and it helps to ease the bad days," said Jody.