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'She gives all of us strength': First responders honor Milwaukee girl with terminal cancer

Posted at 6:59 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 19:59:29-04

MILWAUKEE — A parade of emergency vehicles made their way down 4th street, Thursday afternoon, all to bring joy to a 13-year-old battling cancer.

Antonio Rodriquez's daughter Jayla was too sick to go outside or to the window, so she FaceTimed her father as the cars drove by.

"The city I was born and raised in has stepped up and done something amazing for my baby," said Antonio.

Jayla was diagnosed with brain cancer when she was 5-years-old. Now she is at home on hospice. Jayla's father said although the journey has been hard, Jayla is a real fighter.

"I don't know men as strong as her. She's so strong, she gives all of us strength," said Antonio.

The parade featured Milwaukee Firefighters, police, Bell Ambulance, DPW, MCTS Harleys, and even special appearances from princess and Spider-Man. It was organized and by Milwaukee Firefighter Lt. Michael Ball. Ball said although he can't grant all parade wishes, he hopes this one brings the family some happiness.

"A lot of people coming together to hopefully bring joy into Jayla's day," said Lt. Ball.

Jayla's family said this is a day they will never forget.

"She means everything. Jayla is a very special lady," said Jayla's aunt, Jeanette Zamora.

"We love her, and we are here for her," said Jayla's grandmother, Madeline Alvarez.

They hope Jayla sees the love of the community.

"I hope it brings encouragement not only to my daughter but to everyone in this city. It's amazing what a little bit of love does," said Antonio.

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