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Four-year-old girl gets a special parade for her birthday as she battles chronic illness

Layla Beecham had to cancel her birthday celebrations to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines - so Virginia Beach’s finest stepped in to help.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach police and fire departments banded together to help a four year old girl celebrate her birthday. Layla Beecham couldn’t have her planned party because of COVID-19. Dana Smith shows us what she got instead.

Dozens of law enforcement officers swarmed this Virginia Beach neighborhood this morning.

But not for the reason you might expect.

Four-year-old Layla Beecham had to cancel her birthday celebrations to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines - so Virginia Beach’s finest stepped in to help.

“We bought all the decorations and goodies super early, got her excited super early about the party, and then COVID showed up.”

Layla has cystic fibrosis and usually only celebrates birthdays with immediate family, but this year – her parents were planning a bigger party.

“It was just really cool to see them take time out of their day.”

Credit: Bono Herrera / 13News Now


Members of the Virginia Beach police and fire departments did a big parade past Layla’s home, to wish her happy birthday. Her parents, Erin and Colby said their firefighter friend helped plan the whole thing.

“I think it was the next day she was like: ‘Um this is going to be kind of big. There’s going to be a fire truck, there’s going to be SWAT, there’s going to be a lot of people. Colby and I didn’t even know what to say.”

The Beechams say although COVID-19 put a bit of a damper on their original plans, they’re grateful the Virginia Beach police and fire departments took the time to celebrate Layla.

They say Layla understands what’s going on.

“She said, “Mommy if all these people are sick they need to get their vest on because she does a vest treatment every day, twice a day, and when she’s sick we have to increase it.”

As part of her birthday week, Layla and her family also planned to take part in the Great Strides 5K benefiting Cystic Fibrosis research. That would have been held at the oceanfront this morning but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

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