Jody Davidson

Town goes all-out on early holiday decorations for girl battling brain cancer

October 16, 2019 - 9:11 am
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(ULSTER, Pa.) -- In a typical year, Ariah Cook's grandparents are the first house in Ulster, Pa., to put up holiday decorations.

But this hasn't been a typical year.

Ariah, 6, is battling stage 3 glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer, and her grandmother with whom she lives just hasn't had the time to get into the holiday spirit -- for any holiday. She's simply been too busy taking Ariah to appointments.

So neighbors Jody Davidson and Amber Gray decided to do it for them.

"Amber and I came up with the idea to light the town up from one end of Main Street to the other and all in between," Davidson told Good Morning America. Gray came up with a flier asking the whole town to decorate for any and all holidays, and within two days it was done.

The two women's children attend school with Ariah and her sister Selene.

"She is one of the happiest girls we have ever met -- she always has a smile on her face and that helps all of us to keep a smile on ours," Davidson said.

The little girl arrived home last week from a week-long treatment at Geisinger Janet Weis Children's Hospital in Danville, Pa., and rode into town on a firetruck.

"It was accompanied by several other trucks from surrounding communities who had heard of her homecoming just hours before," Davidson said.

The Halloween-Christmas-Easter-purple decorations were a hit.

"She loves it -- everyday there is a new decoration that pops up in town," Davidson said. "She absolutely loves Christmas, and with the unknowns of her time here on earth with us, most of the decorations are Christmas and her favorite color purple. She enjoys her family pushing her around town to see all the lights and decorations and it helps to ease the bad days."

The support for Ariah has moved well beyond Ulster, Gray told GMA.

"We get messages from states away of people lighting up a corner of their homes in support of her -- it's just truly amazing," Gray said. "There is just no way to possibly thank everyone for what they have done to keep Ariah fighting. While her prognosis isn't the brightest, our town's love for her is."

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