Car parade comes for Grand Rapids boy’s birthday

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — People lined up in their cars Saturday in Grand Rapids to help a 12-year-old boy celebrate his birthday.

Peter Dieleman is recovering from a brain tumor after being diagnosed with cancer in July.

On Saturday afternoon, people showed up and honked their support for Peter.

“(It’s) surprising, crazy, I did not think that many would come,” Peter said. “I was excited to see them.”

Peter couldn’t have a typical birthday celebration due to social distancing restrictions.

“We were looking forward to just time with family for his birthday and that’s all that he wanted just usual dinner and then corona came, and we couldn’t, said Peter’s mom Lucyna. “(We) talked to a couple of friends and hey, family and maybe they could just drive by and just wave that would be phenomenal. Peter’s godmother she said, ‘Lucyna, what do you think about getting the police involved or asking them?’ I’m like, if they’re willing, that would be phenomenal.”

Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Neil Gomez says while the pandemic is bad, there is still good.

“It kind of brings out the best of us sometimes. We have to think outside the box,” he said. “We’re community-oriented police department. We’re in a different set of times where social distancing and being further apart makes things a little bit more difficult, but we find a way to do it. This is a great example of that.”

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