Every little girl wants to be a princess. A special little Texas girl with terminal cancer had her wish to be a princess come true. 5 year-old Claire Lankford, got the royal treatment in her in Dickinson, Texas neighborhood, becoming Princess Claire for a day.
According to a report from KLTV, a family friend came up with the idea and word spread quickly throughout the tight knit community. Businesses and residents got involved. A local bridal shop created a special dress for the little princess so she could look like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Bands played as she enjoyed a royal ride in a horse-drawn carriage as her many admirers lined the streets to cheer her on.
Claire’s day began when three real life princesses, including Cinderella, showed up at her door to take her away in the carriage. The parade was led by a police cruiser and a marching drum band. Princess Claire toured the neighborhood three times – flicking her wrists back and forth like Cinderella taught her. More than 1,000 supporters lined the streets of the family’s subdivision holding signs and banners. Claire’s mom and dad were along for the ride, dressed in their royal finest. Mom also dressed as Belle, and dad doing his Prince Charming impersonation, dressed in a tux.
When everything was over one hour later, Princess Claire retired to her quarters to play, as bouquets galore decorated her front lawn.
“I can’t believe people would want to come out and celebrate my child … a little girl many people didn’t know just to make her dream possible,” said Claire’s mom, Trish Lankford, 39, principal at a local elementary school. “It’s such a blessing to see what the community can do when they come together. It’s overwhelming and I feel so honored and blessed that people know my child’s name.”
In the summer of 2012, Claire was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the connective tissue that most often arises as tumors in the large muscles of the trunk, arms, and legs. She received nearly a year of chemotherapy and weeks of radiation to her chest and spine. Scans have been clear since last summer, but the monster came back early this year.
“We take it day by day and we just know that God has blessed us with a miracle for today and this is something that we will forever cherish.” said Claire’s mom, “I’m so grateful that people would come out and give us this memory.”
See another heartwarming story of a city coming together to make a sick child’s wish come true, with the story of BatKid.