Surprise princess parade held for girl, 5, with terminal cancer

An entire community pitches in for a surprise princess parade in Dickinson for Claire Lankford, a five-year-old who's been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
February 19, 2014 5:20:54 PM PST
It's a heartwarming story out of a heartbreaking one. A five-year-old girl in Dickinson is fighting a rare form of cancer and right now, there's no cure for it. But on Wednesday, she received a gift from community members who hoped to take her mind off of it.

Claire Lankford loves princesses, and thanks to dozens of big-hearted people in and around her community, she got a surprise a parade made for one.

Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Belle were all in attendance as Claire was given a royal ride around the Bay Colony neighborhood in a horse-drawn carriage.

The five-year-old has been fighting cancer for about a year and half now.

"It's terminal. She has just a couple months. She has five tumors in her lungs and lymph nodes," family friend Jaime Harbuck said.

It's been a long road for the little one, who has managed to keep a smile on her face. Harbuck wanted to do something special for Claire so she decided to make her a princess for a day. And when the word got out, the entire community in and around Dickinson pitched in.

"It has just grown into something that honestly, it's something that I dreamed that it would be, special for her," Harbuck said. "It's just heartwarming to know that our community can come together for a little girl."

A local bridal shop helped out with a special princess dress for Claire.

"Just trying to get everything situated and make it beautiful for her princess day," said Danielle Smith of Jill's Fashions and Bridal. "From the toes to the tiara, we like to make sure our princess has that wonderful touch of glitz and glamour. ... It's so humbling. It's amazing to think that we can have such a little part in such a big scheme of things."

Her mother was also dressed as a princess. Her father dressed as Prince Charming.

The trio was supposed to go around the neighborhood once but because Claire was having so much fun, they decided to lap around an extra two times.

Harbuck says all she wants is for Claire to enjoy every moment she has left.


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