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Bubble parade

The happiest tradition at Boston Children’s Hospital

The heartwarming way the hospital says farewell to oncology patients after their treatment.

Kevin and Becky McAvoy escort their 2-year-old daughter, Avery, for her bubble parade at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2015.
Kevin and Becky McAvoy escort their 2-year-old daughter, Avery, for her bubble parade at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2015. Katherine C. Cohen / Boston Children’s Hospital

As Boston Children’s Hospital turns 150, the Globe set out to look at it’s impact over generations. For more stories, click here.

When a pediatric cancer patient is discharged from Boston Children’s Hospital, nurses and caregivers line the hall of the oncology and hematology unit, bubble wands in hand, for a very special celebration. They call it a bubble parade.

The bubble parade for Avery McAvoy — pictured here with her parents, Kevin and Becky of Southwick — took place in 2015, after the 2-year-old had endured 12 months of treatment for neuroblastoma, including a stem cell transplant and six months of immunotherapy.

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“Looking back at that moment, we were overwhelmed with joy as we realized Avery had won her battle, and it was finally time to go home,” Kevin says. “We really can’t thank the doctors and nurses enough. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Now 6, Avery just began first grade. She loves to swim, dance, sing, hang out with her 9-year-old brother, Brennan, and play with her golden retriever puppy, Penny. She remains cancer-free.

“Avery is a beautiful little girl who has gone through so much but has such a love for life,” her father says. “I’m excited to see all that’s in store for her.”