EAST LIVERPOOL – A little boy whose dream came true after a nightmare of medical issues will serve as parade marshal for the city’s annual Christmas parade at 6 p.m. Dec. 8.
Jayden Barber, 5, of Youngstown will reign over the parade, themed “The Shining Stars of Christmas,” after being diagnosed earlier in the year as terminally ill.
After contracting cancer and then leukemia and undergoing numerous rounds of chemotherapy and other treatments, Jayden was hoping to meet actor Christian Bale, who played Batman in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Tens of thousands of people went online to convince the star to come and meet the boy. Bale did one better: He privately flew Jayden and his family to California for a visit.
Jayden’s health condition has also improved dramatically in the intervening months and last reports indicated he is in remission.
The parade, sponsored by the East Liverpool Area Jaycees, will begin at 6 p.m., with registration starting at 4:30 p.m. for those who have not pre-registered and lineup starting at 5 p.m. Leetonia police Chief John Soldano will serve as parade announcer.
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