Nine-year-old Tessa's cancer treatment has been slow-going, so Gilda's Club put on a flash mob to make her birthday extra special.
When nonprofit Gilda's Club reached out to Karin and Brian Prothero and asked if they could perform a surprise flash mob in order to celebrate the 9th birthday of the couple's daughter Tessa—who is currently fighting brain cancer—Karin figured 50, maybe 75 people would show up.
"When we walked outside and saw 300 people, with balloons and signs, we were floored," she told Parents.com. "It was extremely touching seeing our friends, family, and community all come together to make Tessa smile."
Just check out these amazing pics of the event they later posted on their Team Tessa Facebook page:
"Tessa has been feeling a little down in the dumps lately," the caption reads. "This flash mob was just what the doctor ordered to help boost her morale."
Tessa was diagnosed with neuroblastoma back in October 2013, after complaining of a stomachache and pain in her hip. Since then, the little girl has undergone numerous rounds of chemotherapy, two tumor resection surgeries, a stem cell harvest, a high dose radiation treatment, and three different antibody clinical trials. It's a lot for anyone to undertake, let alone a 9-year-old. And her response to treatment has been slow-going. Which is why the spirit-lifting flash mob couldn't have come at a better time—even though Tessa was shy and nervous when she first saw all the people.
"Once she started recognizing the faces in the crowd she relaxed a bit," her mom told us. "She saw her cousins, aunts, and uncles, her friends from school, her principal and teachers, our neighbors, and many other acquaintances. She loved the music and dancing—her favorite performer there was Will Thomas, from So You Think You Can Dance. She's still basking in all the excitement and watches the videos from that night over and over."
Such an incredible show of support and love! Keep fighting that good fight, Tessa... We are sending all our strength and prayers your way!
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If you'd like to help support Tessa's current clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering, which involves monthly visits to New York, please visit the family's Crowd Rise page.
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.