Community hosts parade honoring NJ boy, 5, battling cancer

( Photo by: Gena Laielli )

A New Jersey community came together to show their support for a young boy battling brain cancer.

Five-year-old Johnny, also known as Johnny the Brave, recently finished his fifth round of chemotherapy treatment and has one more to complete before he gets to ring the Victory Bell at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 

"Johnny is a five year old happy, outgoing, and the most lovable child ever," explained Gena Laielli, a family friend, who shared the heartwarming details with FOX 29.

Johnny's most recent MRI brain scan showed that his tumor had shrunk and that he was on the path to good health. 

"Him and his family are going to be escorted through the city viewing houses that are decorated in honor of his strength, bravery, and fight," Laielli added. 

Johnny's family is very close with Laielli's family, which prompted her to share the story of the family's resilience and Johnny's remarkable strength during this challenging time.

"This is such an amazing story full of faith, fight, and the power of prayer and just to see one community pull together during these times of uncertainty is a beautiful thing," she remarked, detailing how the Margate City community rallied to support Johnny and his family throughout his battle. 

Now, they're celebrating his next chapter as it approaches with all the fanfare he deserves. 

Laielli summarized Johnny's story of battling with a smile on your face as one that is "a happy one and this is what the world needs... happiness."

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