This mother and daughter celebrated the end of chemo at the wrong place and wrong time: the festival that ended up under attack by the Las Vegas shooter.
Following the recent tragedy in Las Vegas, numerous stories have surfaced, including plenty that are nothing short of heart-wrenching. The weekend began as fun for Kelley Pettit Huff and her daughter, Cassidy, but it all changed the night of the shooting.
In a recent Facebook post, Kelley took to the social media platform to share their positive experience on a night that could have gone horribly wrong for the pair.
“I’m really struggling and honestly did not want to post anything about our experience on Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, but I strongly feel I need to share the good from our weekend at the event.”
Kelley wanted to thank the strangers that helped her and her daughter reach safety, but didn’t know another way to do so.
Their story begins when Cassidy received her diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma the previous year. As part of her battle against cancer, she recently finished a round of chemotherapy. To help keep everyone’s spirits high, Kelley bought tickets to the festival.
“Cassidy wanted to go last year and by the time she mentioned it, it was sold out. So, for her birthday this year and as something to look forward to for her as she went through a grueling year of chemo, I bought tickets back in April for her and me to attend.”
They were concerned at first that Cassidy wouldn’t be strong enough to go. After all, the festival was just five weeks after her final chemo treatment. Luckily:
“She gained enough strength and 5 weeks post chemo she went!”
Over the course of the weekend at the festival, Kelley and Cassidy had a great time with their friends.
Kelley explained in her post that even before Sunday night, she appreciated everything the concertgoers did for her and Cassidy, going out of their way to make sure Cassidy had an amazing time.
“I am so thankful for every concert goer, perfect strangers, who came up to Cassidy and gave her a high-five, or a fist bump, or a hug, offered words of encouragement or shared their stories of a loved one who is fighting or fought cancer. It was so heartwarming to feel love from people we didn’t even know and it made me so happy.”
During the festival:
“I reflected on the last year and how far we had come and how happy my daughter was and I savored that moment having her alive and standing next to me at a fun event.”
Kelley even mentioned an “unknown, shirtless cowboy” who asked Cassidy to dance and:
“twirled her around, dipped her head and set her down leaving her with a big kiss on the top of her bald head.”
Luckily for Kelley and Cassidy, they were exhausted by Sunday night and chose to sit far in the back, people watching.
As soon as they heard shots, Kelley called her husband, who told her:
“run as fast as we can and not stay down and who stayed on the phone with me urging me to keep running as far away as we can.”
At this point, Kelley’s post gets even more emotionally charged, as she describes what happened that night. She explained that she picked up Cassidy and:
“threw her through a pretzel stand […] and crawled through behind her and we ran as fast as we could.”
Unfortunately, Cassidy wasn’t up to a sprint, even with help from her mom.
She collapsed behind a car when they crossed the street. At this point,
“An off-duty LAPD officer scooped her up in his arms and said to keep running, we can’t stay here.”
They all, including the officer’s girlfriend, “took cover behind another big truck,” then a retired Long Beach police officer told them to keep moving for safety. His daughter, also a police officer, even carried Cassidy on her back.
“He told his wife to take us to their car and get us home and come back for him later.”
With the help of so many kind strangers, Kelley and Cassidy managed to get to the MGM parking garage and leave before the streets got locked down.
Kelley said near the end of the post that:
“Our escape was too perfectly orchestrated to not have had God’s hand in it.”
She also added a final note of thanks for those who helped save her and her daughter. Kelley’s story just goes to show that even the worst events bring out the best in some people.
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