Neighborhood parade shows love for Breast Cancer patient the day before life-changing surgery


"I can't believe this just happened, I'm beyond thankful."

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– Car horns, music and cheers from neighborhood residents surprised one of their own, knowing her life is about to change.

“I’m incredibly grateful for everybody that’s been involved in my life and supporting me through this cause it’s been a crazy couple of months,” said Breast Cancer Patient Julie Sanicola Johnson. “I just had the most amazing people do a parade to show support because I’m having my surgery tomorrow. I’m emotional, I’m grateful, just very lucky.”

October 2019, Hagerstown Resident Julie Sanicola Johnson was diagnosed with breast cancer, has since completed chemotherapy, and is scheduled to have a double mastectomy on Wednesday. With tears rolling and people cheering, Julie’s neighborhood surprised her with a community-wide parade.

“We all as neighbors felt like we wanted to do something but didn’t know what to do,” said Neighbor Pat Kochera. “All the neighbors jumped in, family and friends and we just wanted them to know we were thinking about them, we love them, and we hope everything will work out well.”

In the midst of the pandemic, Julie isn’t allowed to bring anyone with her for her surgery, but her neighborhood and family rallied together to ensure she knew she wasn’t forgotten about and loved now more than ever.

“Thinking of going into surgery alone is scary, it’s not what you expect when you get to the end of this, you want people to be there with you but I completely understand why we can’t,” said Johnson. “But, having my family there to support me before and my friends who just did this amazing show of support with this parade, it couldn’t mean more to me than what they just did.”

Julie is only being held for one day and should be home by the end of the week.

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