They honked their horns. They revved their engines. They blared their sirens.
All for a 5-year-old.
Monday marked a triumphant milestone for Liam Vest as he sat in the shade outside of Camarena Elementary School in Chula Vista.
“This has been a 3-and-a-half-year-long journey,” said Liam’s mother, Allison Vest.
Later this month, Liam will have his first day of Kindergarten.
“I really want to go to school but it’s going to be online,” Liam said.
However, that’s not the milestone the parade of cars was celebrating in the Camarena parking lot.
“Well yeah,” shrugged Liam. “Because I fight cancer.”
A stud 5-year-old.
“He has had just over a hundred chemo therapies throughout his journey,” said his mother. “He is very tough. I mean, he has been in the hospital and had more procedures than any adult I know.”
Monday marked his final chemo infusion. The parade of Chula Vista Firetrucks, classic cars, and vans filled with families was there to congratulate him on a hard-fought battle.
Liam was diagnosed with Leukemia three years ago. He was in remission shortly after his treatments began.
“That was tremendously just the best news and it was right before his dad left for a deployment,” she said. Liam’s father, William, is in the U.S. Navy. He held a sign shaped like an arrow that read “Our Hero” pointed at Liam.
Allison said the coronavirus pandemic has actually been a breeze for the boy who was used to being isolated during treatments.
“Through it all, he never complained. He never wavered,” gushed his mom. “He’s been just absolutely amazing.”
Liam is also one of the honored heroes for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of San Diego's Light the Night.
The parade concluded with three Chula Vista Police cruisers blaring their sirens into the parking lot. Three school resource officers popped out and presented Liam with a plaque, congratulating him on finishing his treatments and beginning his first year of school.
Allison Vest wished that first day could be a more traditional first day of school.
“Of course, there’s going to be that sadness that I don’t get to experience that with him, especially since he didn’t go to preschool,” she said.
However, she said they will celebrate Liam’s first day on campus as well.