San Jose community surprises high school senior with cerebral palsy with special birthday parade

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A special South Bay senior got quite the surprise Thursday when family and friends showed up for a combination 18th birthday and graduation parade.

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Honking and cheers filled the neighborhood as a fire truck and a long line of cars decorated with balloons drove by Veronica Lopez, leaving her shockingly surprised.

"She was sad that it was going to pass like any other day, so it's great to see her happy," said Veronica's mom, Lisa Lopez.

Veronica is a senior at Branham High School is San Jose. She has cerebral palsy and other disabilities and is involved in the nonprofits Best Buddies and Angels on Stage.

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Veronica not only missed seeing her friends but was disappointed there would be no formal graduation due to the coronavirus pandemic, so a family friend surprised organized a parade through her San Jose neighborhood.

"She's excited. She doesn't know how to put it into words, but she is excited," her mom said. "She will talk about it later, non-stop."

Veronica is feeling the same way other seniors are right now.

"I don't want to graduate because I don't get to finish the year out with my friend," said Veronica.

She was blown away by the show of support.

Veronica plans to attend Camden Post Secondary School in the fall and is looking forward to getting back to all her activities and making a difference in the community.

"We are very proud of her, we can't wait to see what she is going to do in the future," her mom said.



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