Neighbors hold Halloween early for a young girl battling cancer

6-year-old Kasey Zachmann and her friends started trick-or-treating early before she starts chemotherapy next week.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. Community power shone brightly in Chevy Chase Sunday night as a neighborhood came together to give a young girl battling cancer the chance to celebrate Halloween with her friends.

The Zachmann family’s 6-year-old daughter, Kasey, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer, a few months ago. Kasey will begin chemotherapy this week, her family said.

Kasey’s parents, Alyssa and Joe Zachmann, said their daughter loves dressing up and especially trick-or-treating. She wanted to celebrate the holiday with friends, the Zachmanns said, so they did what they could to make it happen.

“We approached a slew of neighbors in the area and asked if they were willing to do an early trick-or-treating,” Alyssa Zachmann said.

She said the response from their neighbors was overwhelming in the best possible way.

“We actually had to turn some people away because we had too many people willing to do it,” Zachmann said.

With the support of their neighbors to celebrate Halloween and trick-or-treat early on Sunday night, Kasey and some of her friends dressed up to go door-to-door shouting the infamous “trick-or-treat” words.

“She loves that she just gets the chance to be a normal kid. You know she’ll miss the Halloween parade at school and won’t be able to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, but she’ll be able to do this experience and can still say she’s done trick-or-treating and it means a lot to her,” said Alyssa Zachmann.

Kasey and her friends went to about 30 homes on Sunday night to fill their bags with candy. Several of the neighbors handing out treats were also dressed up in costume.

“The response has been amazing,” said Joe Zachmann. “We just moved here about two and a half years ago and we know some people in the area but honestly we haven’t had a chance to meet everyone and get that immediate response in what’s been a pretty rough summer been unbelievable.”

The generosity of neighbors filled the evening of Kasey, her friends and her family with joy, sweets and memories, instead of focusing on the challenges ahead in the coming days.

“Just shut down before she starts the next round of meds and it all makes it a really special time for her, almost in a way that she doesn’t even realize what she’s going through,” Joe Zachmann said.

Winston Ferguson

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