OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — A parade of smiles and support made its way last weekend around the Redwood development when the community came out to support Olmsted Falls High School freshman Emily Heine, 15, who is currently battling cancer.
“The parade made me so happy,” said Heine. “My favorite part was seeing my (twin) brother Jayson with the hockey team.”
Participating in the parade was the Olmsted Falls High School marching band, cheerleaders, hockey team and football team, as well as local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts troops, first responders and Olmsted Falls Mayor James Graven.
“The support of our community was overwhelming,” said Emily’s father, Brian “We’re so thankful that everyone came together to support our family on such a special and beautiful day for Emily.”
More than 500 community members supported Heine, who has been struggling through her cancer treatments.
Heine’s sister, Katelyn, said normally the Olmsted Falls community is pretty tight but the family never expected this kind of support for Emily.
“All of her teachers came, as well as the mayor sat with her,” Katelyn said. “That was nice for so many people to be there and for it to be such a big event. It was pretty amazing.
“Emily knew it was happening beforehand. She was a little overwhelmed at first, which is understandable because there were a ton of people. Considering she likes to listen to Justin Bieber, she loved that the lacrosse players had his picture on their sticks.”
Helping organize the event was the Olmsted Athletic Commission (OAC).
“Olmsted Falls is a small town with a big heart, and that really showed on Saturday,” OAC Vice President Jill Lukes said. “Emily and her family are such positive members of our community, and it was important to members of the OAC to support them as they face this disease and to let them know that they are not alone in this fight.
“It was such a beautiful day, and the smile on Emily’s face was a perfect reminder that sometimes all it takes to make someone’s day is a little love and a show of support.”
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