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But after just one person responded to her party invitations, strangers stepped in to show their support.
Chloe Sexton, 28, and Charlotte Sexton, 8, lost their mother Jennifer on April 12 after battling brain cancer for 11 years, Chloe told CNN on Saturday.
Chloe is now Charlotte’s legal guardian.
“I sent out the invites early and haven’t heard anything except from one person,” Chloe said. “It upset me that I couldn’t give her the birthday I wanted.”
Charlotte had to transfer to a new school mid-school year after losing her mother. Her new classmates and parents knew about her mother’s death, Chloe said.
So Chloe took to TikTok to express her frustration.
This video has over 9 million views and more than 30,000 comments as of Saturday.
Chloe said her comments and inbox filled up with messages from people offering to help with the decorations, attending the party and asking what gift to bring Charlotte.
“It was the first time I saw people putting action behind their empathy,” Chloe said. “The overwhelming support made me feel like not just a face online, but that I matter and my story matters to people.”
On July 9th, thanks to the help of strangers, Chloe was able to surprise Charlotte with guests, balloons, gifts and more.
Some women helped decorate the house and put together a balloon display, and another brought her horse from Oxford, Mississippi, to give pony rides to the children at the party.
Throughout the day people from all over came by, if only for 30 minutes. At one point there were about 20 kids in the house, Chloe said.
A group called Mid South Jeeps also organized a drive-by parade for Charlotte. About 25-30 jeeps drove past her Memphis home, some handing out gifts from her window and others belting out birthday music.
“She kept asking me, ‘Is this all for me?'” Chloe said. “There was so much excitement, her eyes were so big.”
Not only was this her first birthday away from her mother, but her first birthday party ever, Chloe said. Charlotte has never had a party like this as her mother had been battling cancer for most of her life.
“Charlotte said to me ‘I think mommy would have loved today’ after the day was over,” Chloe said.
https://abc13.com/surprise-birthday-party-girls-mom-dies-to-brain-cancer-charlotte-sexton-strangers-go/12063337/ A Tennessee girl who lost her mother to cancer received 1 RSVP for her 8th birthday party. So strangers helped her celebrate