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Friends plan surprise birthday parade for Vancouver teen with health challenges

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Apr 10, 2020 at 6:57 pm PST

(Amelie Andres, photo submitted by Monica Munn)

Amelie Andres, 14, was looking forward to a proper party after spending her last three birthdays in hospital

A surprise parade is set for the street outside the teen's house Monday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — 14-year-old Amelie Andres spent her last three birthdays in the hospital, and was looking forward to a proper party this year.

All gatherings are on hold amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the teen is in for a surprise celebration.

Monica Munn, the teen’s mother says, friends are planning a socially distanced celebration.

A parade is set for the street outside the house in Vancouver Monday.

Munn says cars will be decorated, and a chorus of honking and singing is planned.

“She shows a great deal of dignity through it all. For them to understand and support her, it’s so so important. Especially in the teen years,” Munn said.

“Nobody is going to get close to each other and they’re going to yell out their windows,.”

Andres has a rare heart condition called truncus arteriosus caused by a chromosomal defect.
She also has a primary immune deficiency, hearing loss, hypocalcemia, cefvical spine fusions, bleeding disorder and two holes in her heart. She had her first open heart surgery at eight days old.

She adds despite these setbacks and challenges, her daughter lives life with vigour as an elite gymnast.

“It’s so easy to feel isolated. Her last few birthdays have been a drag. She’s not a complainer. She’s not a whiner.”