MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A special parade this weekend helps raise money and awareness for families fighting pediatric cancer. The Joy of Life Parade highlights the stories of cancer survivors. As this year’s royal court will tell you, it’s good to be the king.
“Just being the center of attention everyone’s admiring you,” said Joy of Life King Ryan Malone. Malone, along with two stepsisters Natalie Harvey and Olivia Barlow are cancer survivors and this year’s king and queens of the Joy of Life. The organization raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The Joy of Life is part of a tradition of helping families during a very difficult time. St. Jude helps cover a family’s medical expenses so the kids can focus on getting better. Each says the trials of illness helped them change as people.
“To be grateful for every day, people can take things for granted and it took something like to realize how great my life is,” said Joy of Life Queen Olivia Barlow. They offer support to other young people in their shoes.
“Cancer is only a temporary thing and it can be beaten and people can survive,” said Ryan Malone. There are times when the fight seems very tough.
“Don’t give up, no matter what, it seems really hard some days so don’t give up and it will get better,” said Joy of Life Queen Natalie Harvey. The parade is this Saturday at noon in downtown Mobile.