Community surprises 8-year-old girl battling cancer with motorcade, presents

Posted at 11:18 AM, Jan 12, 2022

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A young girl in Port St. Lucie got a big welcome home Tuesday from police and dozens of community members.

8-year-old Arya Stockstill has been in the hospital since October, undergoing treatment for Leukemia.

When Port St. Lucie police learned she was battling cancer and would only briefly be able to go home, they jumped at the chance to make her homecoming special.

While Arya sat on a blanket outside her home surrounded by friends and family, police cars with lights and sirens drove by, followed by the Treasure Coast Jeep Club and a local motorcycle club.

Her parents, Cody and Sharda Stockstill, said late last year, they noticed Arya was bruising easily.

She went through some tests, and they got a call back in early October.

"They called us immediately and told us to take her down to St. Mary's (Medical Center)," Sharda Stockstill said.

Arya and friends.PNG

That's when she was given her diagnosis and immediately started chemotherapy. Arya and her mom had not been home since then.

"She's my whole life," Stockstill said.

She will only be home for a couple of days, so her mom said the family wanted to make her brief stay special. Arya's aunt started making calls to the Jeep club and police.


"This is something she is going to remember the rest of her life," Sharda Stockstill said.

With just a few hours' notice, police raced to buy her hand-picked presents.

Port St. Lucie Police Department Assistant Chief Richard Del Toro brought her the presents in a SWAT truck. He told her the department is all thinking of her and praying for her.

Arya gets presents from PSL police.PNG

"This is exactly why I love living here, in the community," Stockstill said. "They specifically asked what she liked, they got LOLs. She loves all of that stuff. She loves art stuff."

Most of all, Arya's mom said her daughter was excited to be back with her family.

She will go back to the hospital later this week, and eventually head to a Miami hospital, where she is expected to have a bone marrow transplant.

"I'm with her in the hospital every day, but when she goes back this time, she's going to know that not just us, but her family, everybody is behind her, supporting her," Stockstill said.

Arya at hospital.PNG

This story was originally published by Meghan McRoberts on Scripps station WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida.