Rady Children's Hospital

Surprise birthday party puts smile on face of girl with leukemia at Rady Children's Hospital

The family of Lilly Resop, who's battling Leukemia, celebrated her 6th birthday Thursday by singing "Happy Birthday" from outside of her hospital building

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Thursday at 3 a.m., Ramon Resop was just outside his daughter's second-floor room at Rady Children's Hospital, setting up for a birthday party.

Resop put up balloons and "Happy Birthday Lilly" signs.

Just after noon, Resop and members of his family -- some dressed up in funny children's character costumes -- gathered outside where a few hours earlier he had set up the decorations.

Lilly, who's frail with just tufts of hair, has been battling Leukemia for the last 3 years and on this day she is celebrating a birthday. Thursday, she turned 6 years old.

Inside the second-floor hospital room, Resop guided her daughter to the window.

Lilly slowly made her way to the window, reached the glass, looked up and started giggling. It was at that point that Lilly saw the Happy Birthday signs and saw her dad and others dressed up in pink dinosaur costumes, and other outfits.

For a few moments, Lilly kept giggling and smiling. Then communicating via a walkie-talkie, Resop said "Happy Birthday Lilly!"

Lilly's family outside the window and on the grass below started singing "Happy Birthday." Those in the hospital room joined in. All the while, Lilly's face was pressed to the window, looking down with a big smile.

For Lilly's parents, the smile and laughter from her daughter was everything.

"It just sets my heart on fire," said Juanita. "It's the best feeling in the world to hear her laugh like that. (Being in the hospital) is something that wasn't going to hold us back. It means the world to us to make Lilly smile no matter what we have to do to make it special for her."

Ramon added, "It makes me emotional. This makes me smile so big and warms my heart. Lilly is so tough, the more we can make her smile it invigorates us with hope.

"If she smiles for just 10 seconds, then it brings a smile to my heart and all our hearts."

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