By Rori Bennett – Junior Reporter
The community came together on Tuesday for a touching tribute and celebration for a brave local girl, who has received her angel wings.
Olivia Formosa passed away at her home in Wallaceburg on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
She was five-years-old.
Olivia inspired many, was a fighter and showed tremendous courage during a three year battle with brain cancer.
Shortly after Olivia turned two years old, doctors found a mass that surrounded her cerebellum, her brain stem and down into her spinal cord.
Over the past few years, Olivia underwent multiple procedures.
She returned home from the hospital on Monday.
To honour Olivia and support her family, a special celebration of life cruise took place in Wallaceburg on Tuesday evening.
Over 450 vehicles packed the parking lot outside of the former Sobey’s building on McNaughton Avenue. Bicycles, ATV’s, cars, trucks and emergency service vehicles drove in a parade down Albert Street and by the Wallaceburg Christian School, where the Formosa family gathered.
Some of Olivia’s favourite characters, Princess Elsa, Anna and Cinderella were present and waving as the cruise drove by Olivia’s family.
Honking horns could be heard throughout the entire neighborhood as the parade participants tried to make the parade a fitting tribute to Olivia.
Wallaceburg resident Madison Bembridge, a friend of the Formosa family, told the Sydenham Current she has known Brooke Formosa, Olivia’s mother, for a few years, as her child Scarlett used to have play dates with Olivia, as they were only a few months apart in age.
“When I heard about Livie getting sick, I was heartbroken,” Bembridge said.
“I’ve followed her journey and prayed that she would fight this. After three long years of battling, God decided that it was time for Livie to gain her angel wings and go up to heaven.”
Bembridge added: “Olivia has touched many hearts and Brooke is a strong will-powered mom, who did the best she could through this hard battle. Livie is a warrior. She was a strong, beautiful little girl. She fought her battle till the very end. Fly high sweet angel.”
The Chatham-Kent Police Service traffic unit was supportive of the event, helping to organize the blockades and direct traffic during the celebration cruise.
Chatham-Kent Fire & Emergency Services Station #3 Wallaceburg firefighters and Chatham-Kent EMS paramedics were also present to show their support.
Here is a video of the parade, posted by Katey Marie on Facebook:
Here are some photos from the cruise by Rori Bennett:
Editor’s note: The Sydenham Current wishes to extend their condolences to the Formosa family, during this difficult time.