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Ring the Bell: Bryan family hosts surprise celebration of healing

Jennifer Richardson-Gooden's fight with cancer ended on April 22, and her family decided to get creative and celebrate with social distancing in mind.

BRYAN, Texas — This pandemic has kept people apart for weeks now, and while that isolation can be hard for everyone, it’s especially difficult for those already dealing with health issues. 

So, Bryan family got creative with their celebration of healing on Friday evening. 

Last winter, Jennifer Richardson-Gooden was diagnosed with Stage 3 Nasopharyngeal carcinoma - a week before Christmas. 

Her daughter, Gina Jones said, “the doctors decided to go ahead and get started with treatment and do it aggressively for the next three months.” 

While doing rounds of chemo and radiation and traveling back and forth to Houston for daily treatment, doctors were hopeful. 

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic happened. 

“Towards the end of her radiation treatments is when she really started to fell the effects of it we weren’t allowed to even go inside the hospital so that was even more difficult for us,” said Jones.

Thankfully, as of April 22, 2020, Jennifer is officially in remission, and since social distancing guidelines haven’t allowed for a real celebration, her family got creative. 

Good morning wonderful family, friends, friends of friends, etc!! T... his past Wednesday was my last radiation treatment so I'm done with MD Anderson except for check-ups!! Final scans won't be ran for another 2.5 months but based on the February scans my doctors are hopeful that the cancer in my head and neck are completely gone .

Her family put on a surprise parade with friends, family and even fire and police trucks driving by giving their congratulations. 

“It was very surprising and very beautiful it was amazing I’ve never seen anything like it. It turned out amazing,” Richardson-Gooden said.

Jennifer's daughter, Ashely said, “we wanted to show her that it was a big deal to do what she did ... and the days and nights I thought to myself I am just so afraid and I can only cry because I don’t know how shes gonna get through this... but she got through it.”

Jennifer's son Chris was excited at the turnout, saying, “it was more than I can ask for and everybody showed up and it was fantastic I cant thank everybody enough.”  

Jennifer already knows she’s been blessed even before this parade but she hopes others can spread more positivity to those who need it. 

“I came out of this, but pray for yourself and pray for others every day because there’s always someone out there having it way worse than you are,” she said. 

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