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Halloween Came Early For This Terminally Ill 5-Yr-Old Who Asked To See Monsters.

Hurdakis family pose with Barney at Halloween event organized by community for terminal son.

There are few experiences more beautiful than witnessing an entire community come together for a common good.

Nick and Kira Hurdakis are feeling fortunate to live in their neighborhood in Hamilton, Ontario after more than a thousand strangers dropped everything to give their son a day he’ll never forget.

Alex is only 5 years old, but he has been battling brain cancer since before his first birthday. Most of his aggressive tumor was surgically removed, but a portion was too close to his brain stem to excise.

Over the past four and a half years, he went through several forms of therapy to shrink the remainder of the tumor. Sadly, nothing worked, and in September 2022 his parents received the devastating news that he only has days or weeks to live.

His parents were crushed but hoped to fill the rest of his days with joy, love, and fun. When close family friend Paula Tzouanakis Anderson asked him what he’d like to see and do, Alex told her he wanted to go to Niagara Falls for their annual Halloween bash. Alex’s doctors said no to traveling, but Paula decided to see what she could do locally to fulfill his wish to “see monsters.”

Paula went to a local Hamilton Facebook page and asked the community for help to bring Halloween to Alex a few weeks early. She asked for volunteers for a “Spooktacular” night filled with costumed guests, decorated cars, and any other carnival-type attractions they could whip up. Hundreds of people responded, and on September 14th, more than 1,000 people showed up to celebrate Alex’s big night.

Not only that, but the family received thousands in donations to help with the years of debts for experimental treatments they’d tried for Alex.

Because Paula arranged to have the road shut down, costumed revelers were free to crowd Argyle Street. Nick and Kira carried Alex around to meet his well-wishers, including some dressed as characters from his favorite cartoons. There were face painters, vendors, and even fancy sports cars.

The Hamilton police and fire departments also came out to show support for Alex and his family. Not a bad turn out for only a 48-hours notice!

Paula said it was heartwarming to see how quickly their community mobilized to help this family.

“So many individuals came together to make this night great,” she said. “I started crying. It was just amazing.” 

The family was incredibly moved by the support as well.

“We never expected so many people to help out,” Nick said. “It was something else. There’s no words.”

“Alex was so happy, he knew that it was all for him so he was waiving and high-fiving all the people that came,” Kira wrote on Instagram. “He enjoyed every minute of the parade and the haunted back yard and of course Rumble, his favorite paw patrol character.”

It’s heartbreaking to lose someone so young, but the good people of Hamilton showed him that Alex he’s loved in a very big way. We know we can count on them to support Kira, Nick, and their two older children in the difficult days ahead.

Share this story to thank Alex’s community for their heartwarming support.

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