ULSTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WNEP) — A community in Bradford County, Pennsylvania is breaking out the Christmas lights a little early this year, but there’s a good reason for it — it’s all to bring joy to one little girl’s life.
Ariah Cook, age 6, from Ulster Township, has stage 3 glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer.
Her grandma usually goes all out with Halloween and Christmas decorations, but she’s been busy taking Ariah to her doctors’ appointments, so two neighbors started decking the halls, and now they have the whole community involved.
“The brighter we shine for her, the brighter her light shines forever,” said neighbor Amber Gray.
Jody Davidson and Amber Gray are Ariah’s neighbors in Ulster Township and the women behind the effort to light up the town for Ariah, encouraging neighbors to put up holiday decorations ranging from Halloween to Christmas, even Easter, all to make Ariah smile.
“We had an Olaf donated this morning, and we have a bunny coming tomorrow. And she just told us we had to add a kitty and a doggy to it, so we will get our hands on a kitty and a dog,” Jody Davidson said.
Ariah was diagnosed with brain cancer in January. The tumor in her brain cannot be removed. She is currently going through chemotherapy treatments as she fights for her life. But she’s not in the fight alone.
“I have some past family history with this, so I’m very familiar with it, but just to bring happiness to our hometown small community is really what it’s all about and so they know that we’re here for them for anything.”
Jody and Amber only came up with this idea about a week ago and they’ve already received an outpouring of community support.
“Everybody’s lit up and people have really taken to the idea, and it’s spreading really quickly,” Gray said.
Last week when Ariah was returning from a five-day hospital stay, multiple area fire companies showed up to escort her home in style.
“She was so happy sitting when she was in the truck. She sat and pointed at all the people standing in the road,” said her grandmother Nancy McConnell. “I sat there crying saying, ‘Yeah, that’s all for you, honey. That’s all for you.'”
The family and neighbors say the lights make Ariah so happy that they probably won’t even take them down after the holidays are over.