Maybe the best truck & exotic car parade on YouTube thanks to Dylan Schroeder’s special celebration (video 38 minutes).
Dylan Schroeder, who loves construction trucks and construction sites better than Disney World, according to his father, celebrated the day of his last dose of chemotherapy with an event that brought reality to his wildest of dreams. He’s battled leukemia half of his life, and his parents Fred and Joanna Schroeder decided to surprise their 6-year-old son with a parade.
A ‘Ninja Dylan Kicked Cancer’s Butt” outdoor party with music from T.B.M. Productions of Glendale Heights, Ninja Turtles, Mickey and Minnie Mouse turned into a surprise parade of construction trucks, utility trucks, fire engines, exotic cars and Jeeps that passed his family’s house for almost 2 hours Sunday afternoon.
Dylan’s parents were overwhelmed by how many people wanted to help, and grateful for Sunday’s mild weather for November. Over 300 vehicles were estimated to have passed through the neighborhood Sunday afternoon, November 29, 2020. Joining Arlington Heights-based Hillside Towing, there were towing companies from all over Chicagoland that brought their tow trucks, even their heavy rescue/recovery trucks. Jeep enthusiasts from Windy City Jeep Club lined the street, and performed a unique 3-vehicle Jeep salute at the ‘viewing stand’ which consisted of an inflatable King’s Chair.
Many of the parade participants brought gifts for the celebration. One of his favorites was a lime green Jeep electric ride-on Toy with ‘Windy City Jeep Club’ emblazoned across the windshield. About half-way through the parade Dylan changed his viewpoint from the inflatable king’s chair to the driver’s seat of the lime green Ninja Jeep.
Vehicles passed with horns, sirens, and revved up engines, and a conscientious Dylan kept waving in return at everyone who drove by — even as he tried to become familiar with his new Jeep of his own.
‘Team Dylan’ recognized Dylan as a superhero — or a ninja, which is Dylan’s favorite classification. His mom, Joanna, said the battle has matured him beyond his years, and noted his generosity and encouragement to other children who are also battling cancer.
“I’m overwhelmed. The sheer quantity of trucks, it was endless. I’m completely humbled and blown away.”
— Fred Schroeder, Dylan’s dad
The parade was kept a secret, but Dylan’s mom feared the safety of participants and neighbors, and was afraid the police might shut down the event when it grew beyond expectations. There were multiple parade staging areas in nearby neighborhoods. In one staging area, trucks lined Miner Street from Arlington Heights Road to Windsor Drive, and then north approximately to Euclid Avenue. The Jeeps were staged at another location.
Arlington Heights police officers had to assemble existing on-duty officers to provide traffic management.
Dylan’s mom, Joanna, describing the event said, “it completely fills your heart, it makes every single … every tear … on the difficult days really worth it, just to be able to give him this at the end. I mean he’s worked so hard and he’s had such a positive attitude. He’s so kind. If sees a little boy, and he likes one of his toys, he says, ‘here you want it? … take it.’ That’s the kind of kid he’s become, because he’s been given so much that he has no problem giving back now … he’s wise beyond his years.”
Dylan’s health regimen will require blood draws for wellness checks every month for the next year, then every other month the following year, and every three months the third year — up until the fifth year as a cancer survivor.
Another cherished highlight of the day … a fellow chemo warrior, Samuel Strong, attended Dylan’s event.
Family interview on celebration of last day of treatment for leukemia following truck and car parade in Arlington Heights.
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