A Community Celebrates One of Their Own


Angelina Anshelewitz, Staff Writer

Courtney “Coco” Johnson, a 15-year-old girl from Pasadena, California, was diagnosed with cancer last June. She had been having leg pains, and was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma days after her eighth grade graduation. Since her diagnosis, Coco had two surgeries and more than a dozen chemotherapy treatments. Coco ultimately ended up missing her first year of high school, spending many days in the hospital and even more at home, where her mom, dad, and brother would wear masks to avoid passing on germs to her.

Coco was supported by her family throughout this grueling time and they say she never once felt bad for herself. The low moments were low but that did not stop this teenager from kicking cancer’s butt. This brave girl’s strength paid off as she was happy to have her last chemotherapy treatment and leave Children’s Hospital LA (CHLA) once and for all. She still got many cheers from hospital members, staff, and family as they walked her out of the hospital on March 24th. This celebration alone was enough for Coco, but her mom and friend had other ideas.

On their drive home, the unexpected had happened. Over two dozen cars were lined up along the streets, their passengers being neighbors, friends, and even friends of friends, holding signs and posters, cheering on the girl who just won the battle for her life. Coco’s community was not letting her incredible moment go unnoticed. Coco’s mother’s friend, Sonia, had only reached out to a few people to come and be involved in their reverse parade celebration, but the word got out, and many people wanted to help Coco celebrate. Coco was speechless at the love and generosity her community showed her.