WILMINGTON, MA — On Friday afternoon, the Wilmington Police Department was joined by the non-profit organization ‘Cops for Kids with Cancer’ and dozens of police departments from around the state to make a special Wilmington 11-year-old feel even more special.
Kelly Gonzalez, a Wilmington Middle School student, is currently undergoing treatment for medulloblastoma, a fast-growing brain tumor. Her ‘Team Kelly Strong’ supporters recently held a successful fundraiser for the family and is now selling Kelly Strong t-shirts to benefit the Pan-Mass Challenge and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. But perhaps the biggest show of community support to date took place yesterday.
Kelly was picked up at her home by Wilmington Police Chief Michael Begonsis and escorted, with her family, to the Wilmingotn Public Safety Building. Kelly was accompanied by a motorcade of more than 50 police cruisers, motorcycles and a Wilmington fire engine. Supporters, including classmates, waived to her along the route.
Kelly was greeted with signs and high fives from family, friends, officers, town officials, and well-wishers as she arrived to the station. Members of the Wilmington High School and Shawsheen Tech cheerleading squads were also present to cheer her on.
“It was truly amazing to see the law enforcement community, the commnity of Wilmington, the Wilmington Public Schools, friends, family, the fire service, and town officials come together. A special day for Kelly!” said Police Chief Michael Begonis during the ceremony. “You cannot take that smile off that girl’s face despite what she’s going through. That’s truly awesome.”
At the ceremony, the Police Department and “Cops for Kids with Cancer” presented Kelly and her family with a $5,000 check, as well as gifts from Kelly’s favorite sports teams. Kelly, a huge soccer fan, will soon be visiting Harvard University’s Women Soccer Team.
“We thank you for the bottom of our hearts,” said Kelly’s mom Amy. “We couldn’t do it without all the support. The reason we’re Kelly Strong is because of everyone’s support. We thank you so much for that.”
“You’ve all been so supportive down this difficult path,” added Kelly.
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