HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- A community in Hanover County came together to welcome home a child who just returned from the hospital after being diagnosed with leukemia.
With signs and balloons and tow and words of support, dozens drove past a Hanover County home on Tuesday to welcome back Harry Smith.
The nine-year-old boy was diagnosed with leukemia at the end of January.
"Really just took us by surprise," Kelly Waldrop, Harry's aunt, said.
Smith's family said that the outpouring of love and support from their community was equally surprising.
"And how many stories we started hearing about his kind nature and his thoughtfulness at school with his friends," Waldrop said.
With many more wanting to show their love, the idea of a parade turned into reality. It was held just a few days after Smith was released from the hospital.
"Trying to be positive throughout this entire thing. But I think he was kind of starting to get down in the dumps until today which was a perfect day for this," Blair Moore, Harry's mom, said.
Smith said he enjoyed being able to see his friends who he has missed.
Among those who brought him well wishes were deputies from Hanover County, welcoming Smith into their ranks.
Smith's mom said that she's been left speechless at people's generosity and seeing how they care for her son.
"Makes me proud to know he's a great kid and he's touched so many people's lives," Moore said.
She added that many have reached out to her, sharing their own stories of dealing with leukemia and what to expect.
"Because I think it's the unknown right now that is really kind of tough for me," Moore said.
As their journey into the unknown begins, they now know just how many people have their backs.
"To see that coming from people that we don't even know - it's just really overwhelming," Waldrop said.
The family said Smith will undergo weekly chemotherapy treatments for the next month and then doctors will develop a more long-term treatment plan.