It has been a long road for the Poth family of Oakdale.
On Saturday, May 23, however, the road got a little less bumpy and a lot more fun as classic cars and trucks roared past their South Fifth Avenue home in an impromptu birthday and welcome home parade.
Young Wyatt Poth, who turned 4 on May 25, has been undergoing cancer treatment and celebrated his birthday with older brother William, 7, who was a bone marrow donor. Mom Sabrina and dad Kevin were thankful for the birthday parade and the chance to celebrate Wyatt’s return home from the hospital … in remission.
William’s donation was the second bone marrow transplant for Wyatt, who had earlier received one from an unknown donor in Germany, explained Sabrina. That donor was classified as a full donor and brother William, also a match, was a half donor, able to provide the extra needed to help his brother fight off the aggressive cancer.
The family stayed at a home nearby UCSF while Wyatt was undergoing treatment.
“God bless the man in Germany, whoever he is,” Sabrina said of the bone marrow donor that helped save her son’s life.
Big brother William had a birthday on April 18; both boys were finally able to celebrate with the party on Saturday. The classic cars and trucks were a treat for the whole family and other vehicles, carrying family friends, also joined in. Many handed balloons and gifts out the window or down from the back of a pick-up truck, keeping socially distant from the brothers.
“Four months cancer free,” Sabrina said of Wyatt, who still wore his facemask on Saturday. “He’s just enjoying life and being home.”
Dad Kevin said he reached out to some friends on Facebook about welcoming the boys home and the classic car parade quickly took shape.
“This was kind of the best way to see our friends,” he said of the ‘drive by’ celebration.
Wyatt was diagnosed with leukemia on Dec. 7, 2018 and the family got word on Dec. 23, 2019 that he was in remission.
Katherine Songer was one of the friends, with husband Jason, taking part in the parade. She said they went to high school with the Poths and wanted to share in the good news of Wyatt’s remission and celebrate the birthdays.
Tina and Rico Tateo of Riverbank brought their 1973 Chevy Stepside to the festivities.
“That’s what we do with all our cars, we like to use them for charity and now for the kids,” said Tina.
Sabrina said the celebration was even better than the family could have hoped for, bringing smiles all around.