Halloween came early to one street in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Five-year-old Alexandros Hurdakis has had brain cancer since he was an infant. Last week, his family learned that the experimental treatments that have helped Alex for the past four and a half years have stopped working.
Paula Tzouanakis Anderson, a friend of the family, shared the update on Facebook, adding that the cancer is now terminal. The Hurdakis family confirmed the news to the Canadian news outlet CBC.
As Alex expressed a wish to see monsters and visit a haunted house, Tzouanakis Anderson shared a post to the Crown Point community Facebook page, and within three days, the Hurdakis family's street was closed down, and a massive Halloween parade was afoot.
The street was full of costumes and a mix of children and adults came out to grant Alex's wish. Volunteers painted faces, vendors sold popcorn and cotton candy, and Alex was carried throughout the crowd to witness all of it.
"So many individuals came together to make this night great," Tzouanakis Anderson told CBC Hamilton the next day. "[Alex] was waving to every single person in the crowd. He knew it was for him…. You could see the love in his eyes."
"We never expected so many people to help out," Alex's father, Nick, said. "It was something else. There are no words."
A GoFundMe page created on Alex's behalf has raised more than $41,000, and details the family's journey since Alex's diagnosis at 11 months old. As parents Nick and Kira struggle to keep up with Alex's medical needs, "their bills are piling up," the page reads. Between hospital bills, parking fees, overnight hotel stays for early morning appointments, and all the days off required to meet Alex's needs, the family has been struggling.
The latest update to the page, posted one week before the Halloween parade, Tzouanakis Anderson shared that the doctors would be "surprised" if Alex made it through the week. A shunt taking pressure off his brain is what is keeping him alive, she said, and the doctors told the family that they do not envision he will make it more than two more months.
She expressed her appreciation for the outpouring of love and support on the page, saying it gives the family "courage" during such a difficult time.