Special Early Father’s Day Parade Held For Stage 4 Cancer Patient In Cantonment (With Photo Gallery)

May 25, 2020

A special Father’s Day parade was Sunday for a Cantonment man.

Johnell Smith was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer a few months ago. His 12-year old son Dakota wanted to go ahead and do something special for him now for Father’s Day, and asked for the parade for his dad.

The two sat together in a golf cart alongside Casey Lane Sunday afternoon to watch as the community came together for the very special parade.

And for a while, all was well as the parade went by, led by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. There were fire trucks, big trucks, antique cars, motorcycles — all the good stuff that fathers and sons can enjoy together.

There was laughter. And tears. And that special bond that a father and son share. It may have been a few weeks early, but it was a happy Father’s Day.

For a photo gallery, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Barbour, click  enlarge.


20 Responses to “Special Early Father’s Day Parade Held For Stage 4 Cancer Patient In Cantonment (With Photo Gallery)”

  1. Steve on May 26th, 2020 12:13 pm

    Happy early Fathers Day Johnell. Youre a great man and I know your boy is proud to call you Dad! Be blessed Bro!

  2. Janine Trail on May 26th, 2020 11:42 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  3. sunshine on May 26th, 2020 9:11 am

    I’ve known johnell for over 20 years. He’s a great person , father, and a damn great mechanic ! He’s fighting one hell of fight, that he didn’t deserve. I’m sending you TONS OF LOVE darlin , and BIG HUGS. I know this tuff for the family and those who know and love him in our community. What a wonderful gift Dakota wished for , and you received. PRAYERS FROM THE HEART MY FRIEND. See ya soon !!

  4. Cantonment Citizen on May 26th, 2020 5:14 am

    What an incredible son Dakota is and what a special dad Johnell Smith must be to have raised such a remarkable young man. Praying that God gives this family many more wonderful days together.

  5. Paul Hulen on May 25th, 2020 10:59 pm

    May Jesus be with you and heal you

  6. Rachel Wrought on May 25th, 2020 10:17 pm

    What a gift you, your dad and community are. Sending you inner strength during this tough time. Long live great hero’s like you all with big hearts.

  7. Terry Norton on May 25th, 2020 9:36 pm

    Happy birthday buddy

  8. Ramona on May 25th, 2020 6:45 pm

    Sending love and prayers to the Smith family (Johnell, children, sisters, and mother).

  9. Ryan Fetsko on May 25th, 2020 5:27 pm

    Just reading this, and as a father of 5 my heart and prayers go out to you JL, Lori and family. What an incredible story and AMAZING gesture. May God bless you all and keep his hands around you at this most difficult of times. Keep FIGHTING and the FETSKO family is here for you!!

  10. Jim on May 25th, 2020 1:39 pm

    dang how sweet, I wish I would have known about this…

  11. Melissa Miller on May 25th, 2020 1:04 pm

    Wow, sitting here crying how sweet there is never a bond as strong as a father and son or daughter and father. My heart and prayers go out to this family and my god be with y’all always.

  12. Tina on May 25th, 2020 12:11 pm

    God Bless you!!!

  13. Brooke Cooper on May 25th, 2020 11:36 am

    I am bawling. I sure wish I’d have known…. the mustang and I would have been there! Happy fathers day sir you did a great job because your son really loves you sir. Some can’t say that

  14. Cheri on May 25th, 2020 11:30 am

    This is absolutely awesome-God bless this family-❤️

  15. Matt and Vickie Bell on May 25th, 2020 10:26 am

    Wish we would have known about this special event so we would have been there. You are always in our thoughts and prayers. Dakota did a special thing for a very special man and friend.

  16. Mariah on May 25th, 2020 9:57 am

    This is ABSOLUTELY beautiful…. what a wonderful young man , and God’s blessings upon this family

  17. Sharon Thompson on May 25th, 2020 8:49 am

    Thank you to everyone who participated in that yesterday. There are no words that can express what your kindness and your love meant. My brother was just amazed and he loved every minute of it. The love that was expressed yesterday was just mind blowing. Thank you again from the bottom my heart.

  18. Watery eyes on May 25th, 2020 7:27 am

    Well……..started my morning off with watery eyes.

  19. Sandy on May 25th, 2020 7:21 am

    That is so sweet Dakota! I am praying for you and your Dad.

  20. Living in Molino on May 25th, 2020 6:27 am

    May God bless Mr. Smith and his family.