Dozens gather to celebrate the life of 4-year-old with life-threatening illness
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AMMON – It was a special day for 4-year-old Colt Weekes at the YMCA Indoor Sports Arena in Ammon Sunday, and one his parents will cherish for the rest of their lives.
Colt was recently diagnosed with life-threatening brain cancer. Family, friends, members of the community and Make-A-Wish Idaho jumped into action to make his final days as meaningful as possible.
Dozens of people gathered at his home for a parade in Colt’s honor. Ammon Fire Department gave him a ride in a fire truck and the fire department, along with Idaho Falls Police Department and Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office escorted him to the YMCA.
“The parade was awesome,” YMCA CEO Monica Bitrick tells EastIdahoNews.com. “That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.”
“We all wore bright colors and had signs out. Littler kids got in the back of my sister’s truck and had noisemakers, balloons and all the posters. They were screaming and yelling and having a great time,” Colt’s mom Cezanne Allen says.
Mayor Sean Coletti issued a proclamation declaring Colt an honorary mayor for the week, and even presented him with a gavel as a keepsake. And for Colt, it was the highlight of the event.
“You’re awesome, Colt,” Allen said during the gavel presentation. “He sure loves that gavel.”
A celebration of life was held immediately following. The room was all decked out with “Paw Patrol” gear since that is Colt’s favorite show. There were games, toys and posters for people to sign with the hashtag #ColtStrong.
“The YMCA is honored to be a part of this. We have been super excited to partner with all the city officials and businesses to make all of this happen. As a parent, it’s been very moving. Seeing everything come together and seeing Colt has been really touching,” says Bitrick.
More than a hundred people came to support Colt on his special day. Most of them were Colt’s family members, but other members of the community came as well, including the family of a former Make-A-Wish child.
Julie Thomas, the regional director for Make-A-Wish Idaho, says she is amazed at the turnout and “over the moon happy” for Colt and his family.
“I’m happy for this family. They’ve been through a lot. They deserve a little break from reality,” Thomas says.
Colt’s family is grateful for the show of support and says they couldn’t ask for a better community.
“This was a true blessing from our community,” Colt’s stepdad Tom Peterson says. “He enjoyed the fire truck ride and enjoyed meeting everybody.”
Friends and family started a #ColtStrong Fundraiser on Facebook to help with medical costs and funeral expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.