BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A Brevard County 10-year-old is working alongside members of her community to prepare to honor her best friend, who lost her battle with cancer earlier this year.
- Community will honor Sophie Herron on Dec. 7 with Christmas Angel Walk
- Participants will be wearing handmade angel wings
- More Brevard County news
Ten years ago, two first-time mothers, Kate Vinson and Mary Herron, bonded while together in a mothers' fitness class.
At that time, neither of them expected cancer would claim one of their children's lives, but it happened. Sophie Herron, Mary's daughter, died earlier in 2019 after courageously battling a rare and reoccurring cancer.
“It was rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a very aggressive cancer," Vinson explained. "It started in her leg and she fought the cancer for almost 4 years."
Sophie and Vinson's daughter, Nora, grew up as best friends.
“I remember seeing pictures of us sitting next to each other eating our little snacks at stroller strides, we had the same shoes, we were both alike and liked the same things,” Nora told us.
Now, Nora and her mother are working with others in their community to honor Sophie's life and courage. Later this year, they will participate in a "Christmas Angel Walk" during the annual Cocoa Beach Christmas Parade.
Kate Vinson will host the walk, which will have participants wearing angel wings and walking alongside the GG&R float in the parade.
Nora, meanwhile, is making her set of wings so she can take part in the walk.
Vinson says this is the community's way of showing Sophie's family they care, since this will be the first time Sophie won't be celebrating her birthday or be around her loved ones during the holiday season.
“You feel bad that you get to have experiences with my kid that she never will, and I feel really sad for her," Vinson said. "I truly have to believe that Sophie was here for a reason, and she was such a fighter, so inspiring not only to other kids with cancer but also with adults to see how to live a better life and she lived everyday for that day."
Nora, meanwhile, said she learned early on how precious life can be and that even in death friendship and love doesn't have to end.
“Remember that they are always in your heart no matter what, that they will never give up on you and that you've been best friends forever and will always be,” Nora said.
The parade starts at 2 p.m. but anyone who is participating needs to arrive at 12:30 p.m. For more information about the Christmas Angel Walk, visit their page on Facebook.