Hundreds of students, parents and teachers lined Vancouver streets Tuesday morning for the type of reception usually reserved for pop stars or royalty.
They weren’t waiting for Harry Styles. No, they were there to see a fresh prince of the West Side who really knows how to make an entrance.
Accompanied by a fleet of supercars, and sitting comfortably in the front seat of a shiny red Ferrari, 12-year-old Nick Cannon took in the incredible reception from his West Point Grey Academy classmates.
“This is amazing!” he told CTV News as hundreds chanted his name.
Over Spring Break, doctors diagnosed Nick with sarcoma, a soft-tissue cancer. Since then he’s had major surgery and gone through 11 rounds of chemotherapy.
His classmates, along with students at half a dozen other schools, lined up to wish him well as he headed to B.C. Children’s Hospital for his final round of chemo, which includes a three-week isolation period.
“You are so strong and we are so proud of you. You’re just so amazing,” said one Grade 7 classmate as she held a sign with Nick’s name on it. “We all look up to you and you can do this. We got you.”
Soaking in the adoration and waving to the crowd like a seasoned superstar, Nick strode over to a black and teal Lamborghini, getting behind the wheel to rev the engine and make some noise of his own.
Simultaneously laughing and crying, his biggest fan looked on.
“He is so loved. And it’s just people having the opportunity to show up,” said Kelly Cannon, Nick’s mom. “If you give people the opportunity, I believe in the good and magic of the world and this is what it comes to. And this is my guy! He is magic.”
His father said it all started when a few parents began talking about doing something special for Nick, but nobody imagined it would snowball like it did.
“It went viral and it’s mind-blowing. It’s overwhelming. It’s incredible,” said Darren Cannon.
Everybody who is anybody in Vancouver clamoured for a moment with Nick Tuesday as his convoy pulled up to the hospital entrance including Fin, the Vancouver Canucks mascot, who presented him with a gift from the team.
“I think this is probably the most epic entrance to the hospital that I’ve had any patient come in for,” said Dr. Rod Rassekh, Nick’s oncologist.
Just before he walked through the doors with his mom, who will stay with him in isolation over the next three weeks, Nick received one final surprise from his classmates — a box full of numbered packages to be opened one per day until they can see him again.
“Cool, awesome, great,” the young man of the hour said, before embarking on the final leg of his difficult medical journey.
If this is the kind of support he’s getting on his way into the hospital — one can only imagine what Nick can expect when he comes back out.