Kids & Family

Community Surprises Four-Year-Old Cancer Survivor with a "Transforming" Birthday

When his parents put out a call for help celebrating their son's first cancer-free birthday, the community's response was incredible.


Whitaker Weinburger just turned four years old, but he's already been through a lot in life. He was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer at 13-months-old and has undergone six rounds of chemotherapy, 20 rounds of radiation and a double stem cell transplant. He's currently in remission, and his parents wanted to make his first cancer-free birthday a day he would never forget.

"He's never had people be around on his birthday," his mother told NBC News. "This is the first time, so it's really special for him."

Charles Barrett Elem School Facebook

Another fun fact about Whitaker: he loves Transformers. Specifically, the black and yellow character known as "Bumblebee." Whenever he sees a yellow and black car, he thinks he's seeing the Transformer come to life.

For his birthday on September 11th, his parents planned to surprise him with a parade of "Bumblebee" cars along his route to preschool. With the help of the Alexandria Sheriff's Office, they put out a call to the community several weeks ago for anyone that owned yellow vehicles to take part in the parade.

"Bumblebee" cars line up for the parade. Charles Barrett Elem School Facebook

Drivers were instructed to show up at a local bank parking lot at 6:30 am and police officers would direct them down the road that Whitaker takes to preschool each day, which is located less than 5 miles from the Pentagon building in Virginia.

The response was overwhelming. A large parade of yellow sports cars, firetrucks and schoolbuses rolled along the road with Whitaker and his family while crowds of people cheered him on from the sidewalks. Some people waved handmade signs with drawings of Transformers and bumblebees.

The Alexandria Sheriff's Office tweeted live from the event: "Incredible sea of yellow cars and trucks in Alexandria for Whitaker's Surprise Bumblebee Walk! Big thanks to all the drivers and neighbors for making Whit's birthday so awesome!"

The Sheriff's department also captured some of the event on video:

(Source: @AlexVaSheriff )

Whitaker was all smiles as he walked along the road with his parents, pointing and waving at all of the cars. When he got to his school, his teachers and classmates were dressed in black and yellow clothing, some were wearing the same t-shirt as him that read, "I am brave. I am strong. I am Whitaker W."

MJ Weinburger Smart Facebook

Judging from the crowds of people that joined in on the boy's celebration, Whitaker won't be celebrating his birthday alone anymore.

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