FARMER CITY, Ill. (WCIA) — “Thank you, thank you for everything,” Addie Benjamin, a 7- year old fighting a brain tumor, said.
That little girl was happy to be welcomed home after she was away for months. One tough 7- year old from Farmer City was surprised with a fire and police department escort. She’s been fighting a brain tumor at St. Jude in Memphis, but she was finally able to come home.
Besides the escort, 7-year old Addie Benjamin was welcomed home with dozens of people at her house. They had signs in the yard, people were hugging each other, smiling and crying. Everyone was happy to see Addie back home
“We’ve had so much support from our town and the surrounding towns really and its absolutely amazing to see Addie’s face, to see everybody there,” Ashley Benjamin, Addie’s mom, said. “I mean, we had fire trucks and cops and all of our friends and posters and obviously the crowd at home. It’s just been amazing.”
Fire trucks were blaring through the streets as one little girl returned to Farmer City with an escort, surprise parade and welcome home party.
“I had to explain to Addie what an escort was whenever I told her the cops were going to escort us,” Ashley Benjamin said. “I said you know the famous people have escorts and she just lit up and then as we were coming through town I was just like everyone of these people are here to see you and she’s just like amazed. She loves it.”
7- year old Addie Benjamin was diagnosed with a brain tumor back in July. She spent three weeks at OSF in Peoria before furthering treatment at St. Jude in Memphis, Tennessee. At 7- years old, she’s already had three brain surgeries.
“She actually has a craniopharyngioma so she does not have cancer,” Michael Benjamin said. “She has a tumor that causes cysts in her brain.”
Her dad, Michael Benjamin, says right now she has no growths on the tumor so she was able to come home after months of being away.
“She’s a heck of a little girl,” Michael Benjamin said. “You can’t beat her down. Three brain surgeries, you don’t want to stick her with a needle, no needle pokes, but if you tell her hey we’re going to have surgery today, she’ll be like okay.”
Not only was Addie surprised with the homecoming parade, she also got a second surprise: A new puppy named Jude, after the hospital that helped her.
“I get to see my puppy and I always will,” Addie Benjamin said.
We asked Addie what her favorite part of being home was and this is what she said.
“Seeing my puppy and my family,” Addie Benjamin said.
Her family, friends, and just people in the community couldn’t be happier for her to be home as well.
“Honestly we would not be here today and in the spirits that we’re in without Addie because she’s just been so tough,” Ashley Benjamin said.
“She has an awesome outlook and she’s just Addie so we’re excited to have her back home,” Michael Benjamin said.
Her family couldn’t be more grateful. They said people had sent packages, taken their other dogs out, brought meals, and more. Her dad said they would not have gotten through this if it wasn’t for the community. Tonight, her family was planning on unpacking and enjoying the night together in their home as a family.
If you want more information or want to donate to St. Jude Hospital, the link is below.