Christmas came early this year for a 4-year-old girl who is fighting terminal cancer.
Residents in Midlothian, Virginia, rallied on Friday to help Virginia Rose Vandermark celebrate what her family fears could be her last holiday season. Neighbors organized a festive fundraiser, complete with a visit from Santa Claus, in her front yard, Good Morning America reported.
Dozens of people sang carols and donated $800 in gift cards to the youngster.
Virginia Rose was diagnosed with leukemia in April. Just five months later, doctors told her father, Jonathan Vandermark, that her condition was terminal and she'd probably not live to see another Christmas.
The devastating news touched a nerve with locals. One woman, Renee Trivisonno, followed Virginia Rose's story for some time before realizing she lived nearby. Although she didn't even know the family, Trivisonno brought the neighborhood together for the "Caroling and Cards for Virginia Rose" event, per WWBT.
"It had to be done," Trivisonno told ABC News.
"[My husband] and I felt so strongly that we needed to come together to show this family some love and support. Right here at Christmas time that is, to us, the true meaning of Christmas; when you have love you need to give love," she added.
Jonathan Vandermark said he was "overwhelmed" with the support from the community, which donated more than $10,000 via a GoFundMe fundraising page.
"We are trying to have Christmas every weekend for her. Unless there is a Christmas miracle for her, this is her last one with us and we are trying to give her as many as we can," Vandermark told ABC News.
"She was tired, she just kind of wanted to cuddle daddy tonight. But she was singing it. From the distance you probably couldn't hear her but in my chest she was wording the songs with me," he added to WWBT.
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