DeKALB – Halloween 2020 will be a day 9-year-old Jake Dobie will never forget.
That’s the day he received his last round of chemotherapy treatment after being diagnosed with leukemia on Aug. 23, 2018.
To celebrate, family, friends and community members held a surprise drive-by parade in front of his house. More than 75 cars, including fire trucks, police cars, the Northern Illinois University Silverettes and the DeKalb High School Drumline, participated in the parade.
The Dobie family is well-known in the DeKalb community: Jake’s father Jeff Dobie owns Fatty’s Pub & Grille in DeKalb and Jake’s mother Marissa is a teacher at St. Mary School in DeKalb.
Many participants dressed in costume for Halloween and gave Dobie bags of candy. Cars and signs were decorated with orange, the color of the leukemia awareness ribbon.
“I felt that the Dobie family needed a celebration after all they’ve been through,” said event organizer Kim Keck. “They give in so many ways in the community. They’re always giving and never asking for anything in return. A drive-by parade is a way to celebrate not only Jake, but the whole family.”
Linda Cox, a kindergarten teacher at St. Mary School in DeKalb, participated in the parade with fellow teachers Beth Morgano and Donna Clark.
Clark described the event as a “celebration of healing and life.”
“We’re all a family at St. Mary, and we wanted to let the family know that we’re all in this together as a community,” she said. “We support one another and we care.”
Julie Saucedo has known the Dobie family since before Jake entered pre-school.
“It was so devastating when we heard of his leukemia diagnosis, and we’re so excited for the family now that chemotherapy is over,” she said. “I’m so happy to be a part of the celebration and for everyone in the community to be, too.”
Jake stood in awe as car after car drove up to his house to wish him well and to celebrate the end of his chemotherapy treatments. His mom teared up and his dad greeted passersby as close family and neighbors stood along the sidewalk.
“We’re so overwhelmed and so grateful,” Marissa Dobie said. “It’s just amazing. We’re totally taken aback. To see so many people, friends and the community behind us, we’re very blessed and so thankful.”
After the parade, the family planned to go trick-or-treating, eat Jake’s favorite food – pizza – and spend time together celebrating.
Jeff Dobie said he was speechless at the surprise parade and at the “thoughtfulness of everyone in the community.”
“Thank you, thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart,” Jeff Dobie said. “It’s a day we’ll never forget.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle