Terminally Ill 4-Year-Old Gets Early Christmas in Virginia

Virginia Rose Vandermark's family was told she will not live to see Christmas.

ByABC News
December 14, 2015, 3:09 PM
Virginia Rose, 4, Vandermark of Chesterfield, Virginia received an early Christmas on December 11.
Virginia Rose, 4, Vandermark of Chesterfield, Virginia received an early Christmas on December 11.
Jonathan Vandermark

— -- One Virginia girl was able to celebrate Christmas early this year after her hometown brought the holiday to her front yard.

"We have been overwhelmed with the love they pour on us," dad Jonathan Vandermark of Chesterfield, Virginia, told ABC News. "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 said it was in September, just five months following her leukemia diagnosis, when doctors informed him that his daughter Virginia Rose, 4, would most likely not live to see another Christmas.

The neighborhood rallied around the girl after her family was told she may not make it through Christmas.

"As soon as the neighbors found out, they leaped into action," Vandermark said.

A woman named Renee Trivisonno Friday rallied the Chesterfield community around "Caroling and Cards for Virginia Rose," a fundraiser to throw the little girl a Christmas party the family would never forget.

"It had to be done," Trivisonno of Chesterfied said. "I followed the story for a while before i even knew that they lived in our own backyard. [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.

"Virginia Rose looked very happy," she added. "She looked really tired, but she sparkled a little bit when she saw Santa Claus in her own front yard."

Virginia was diagnosed with leukemia on April 8, 2015.

Trivisonno said the neighbors raised an estimated $800 in gift cards for Virginia Rose in addition to the holiday celebration complete with carolers, a parade of vehicles and eye-popping decorations.

"To see the joy in the kids' faces, to hear the singing in the yard and to see the community coming together to love on Virginia Rose was very emotional," Vandermark said. "This daddy had to choke back the tears.

“The two words -- ‘thank you’ -- are not adequate enough to describe our appreciation, but from the bottom of our hearts, thank you. Virginia is joy. She spreads joy everywhere she goes and with everyone she meets. This fight has been extremely difficult, but in the worst of circumstances we have seen the best in others."