When Madelyn Kuhnlein learned her final cancer treatment was nearing, her mom and dad asked local friends and family if they were interested in sending her a letter.
Word traveled fast and soon the community of Anacortes had bigger plans in mind for the 6-year-old girl.
We had no idea we would hear from so many people, says Lisa Kuhnlein.
Madelyn has spent the past two and half years fighting Leukemia. But even during her treatment at Seattle's Children's Hospital, she continued her familiy's annual tradition of delivering cookies to Anacortes police.
It was just fun, says Madelyn.
The most recent delivery included the request from Madelyn's mom and dad.
We had no idea she even had cancer, says police chief Bonnie Bowers. Even our toughest officers were choked up.
Soon, someone came up with the idea of a parade.
It just grew and grew, says Bowers.
Three days after Madelyn took her final Chemotherapy pill, she was surprised at school with a ride from a police officer, to the start of her parade.
In an event as colorful as the fourth of July, at least 1,000 people lined the streets or included their vintage car or homemade floats and costumes in the parade for Madelyn.
It just wipes all of the bad memories away, says Peter Kuhnlein.
Wiping away tears, Madelyn sat in the back of a donated 1963 Ford Falcon Futura and waved to the crowd on her special day. With a smile on her face, everyone couldn't help but smile back, knowing she was cancer free.
Time to start new memories, says Lisa. It's incredible how good people are.