YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Commmunity members from Windsor and Hellam townships turned out en masse Tuesday night to welcome home a local boy who is battling a brain tumor.
Dakota, 12, spent the last few weeks in a hospital receiving treatment. When it was time for the Red Lion student to return to his Windsor Township home on Tuesday, friends, family and community members gathered to make sure he received a warm welcome.
Dakota's ambulance received a police escort as it traveled home. An Optimus Prime semi-truck followed, while family members on motorcycles padded out the convoy.
"I cried," said Richard Himes, Dakota's dad. "He cried. He said -- for me? Why? And I'm like, 'Dude, you inspired everyone. It was phenomenal."
Members of the Hellam Township police and fire departments were on hand to welcome Dakota home, along with other well-wishers.
"I am just so overwhelmed," said Patricia Yohe, Dakota's aunt. "We've been waiting for this for about three weeks and we've prayed for miracles and got our miracle. Dakota is home with us. Just seeing that smile on his face as everyone was here and waiting for him was just something I've been waiting for and dreaming for."
While Dakota's fight is not over, his family is glad to have him back home with them.
"He just kept breaking the limits, and everybody said he would," said his dad. "He was ready to come home, and we were too. We never expected the wonderful welcome that we have had and it is very heartwarming.
"To see all the people who support him and fight for him and the people he's inspired is just phenomenal because he's inspired me he's shown me what true strength is. We're going to kept breaking every single odd we can."