9-year-old girl with six months to live celebrates Halloween with special parade


Nine year old Arizona Burns had a Halloween that went beyond the candy, costumes and creepy cackles of years past.

Just a month ago, Arizona was diagnosed with a form of terminal brain cancer that does not respond to radiation or chemotherapy.

Her doctors estimate she has about six months to live.

With the news, Arizona’s family decided to give her a big Halloween.

Dozens of neighbors showed up in the town of Morinville, north of Edmonton on Halloween afternoon to put a smile on the face of Arizona in front of her house.

People came dressed as dinosaurs, ghostbusters, cowboys and Jedi’s.

“Just seeing the post and hearing it on the radio really touched us all as a family, so we figured it would be nice to come out. And the event so far is great. There are costumes all over the place,” replied Travis White, a neighbour of Arizona saying his own family could not pass up the chance to show their support.

Arizona’s story has made its way around social media over recent weeks, and it caught the attention of Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds shared a personal video message to Arizona, which her mother Sharice Cardinal posted on the Facebook page of Arizona’s journey.

“I just wanted to send a little video and let you know I’m thinking about you. I’m sending you tons of love and I hope I’m lucky enough to meet you in person,” shared Reynolds in the video from New York.

Arizona’s mother reached out on social media for people to come to their home and have a Halloween parade with Arizona feeling better after treatments. She requested people drop of non-perishable food items to donate to the Morinville food bank.

“It is an awesome turnout. I feel like towns like this really come together. And I feel like, and I’m hoping that this little girl feels loved and supported,” said Nicole Kluthe, another neighbour of Arizona and her family.

Arizona’s mother Sharice says the day will be remembered and cherished by the whole family.

“Everybody showing their love and support. And they turned it into something beautiful for our girl. And helped create beautiful memories and happy memories for our family. It’s just beautiful how much everyone loves my daughter.”

There is a GoFundMe page for Arizona and Sharice which has raised over $7,000 and will go towards whatever Arizona and her family might need during this difficult time.

Video Journalist / Edmonton

Chris Stewart has been in the media for 20 years. He has worked at CBC, Global and CTV as a news camera operator and editor. Chris joined APTN in 2012 in the Saskatoon Bureau and moved to APTN Edmonton bureau in 2015 as a Videojournalist.