West Point welcomes home Lila Usry

 Friends were lined up on Court Street and in front of the Usry home with signs and orange balloons in celebration of Lila Usry's return home from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Staff Writer

With a police escort, complete with a fire engine bringing up the rear, Lila Usry and her family came home to West Point Saturday afternoon. Well wishers lined Court Street to welcome, Lila, Miller and Heather Usry home.

Shannon Greenan is a friend and next door neighbor of Heather Usry and her family. Willa Greenan and Lila Usry have been best friends for several years. Usry's diagnosis with Acute Myeloid Leukemia was not only hard on the Usry family, but on the Greenans, as well.

Lily Usry has been undergoing cancer treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, since her diagnosis last November. Heather and Lila Usry have been in Minnesota for almost a year.

"We have missed them so much," Greenan said. "We have gone to Minnesota to visit. The girls Facetime. But the news she is coming home has made us so very excited."

Greenan wanted to do something special for Usry's coming back home. She planned to surprise the Usry's with a big welcome home from the community.

Cell phones were lighting up during the Makin Hay Day at Sally Kate Winters Park with updates about when the Usry's would be arriving so the surprise welcome home would be a success.

"It's been hard to get the word out and keep it a surprise at the same time," Greenan said. "But we have invited at least 500 people and asked them to spread the word, not on social media, that we wanted to line Broad Street to Court Street with people who love them and posters and balloons."

When Usry was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, the entire community came to a standstill over one little girl. There have been multiple fundraisers to help the family with the mounting hospital bills and with keeping the bills paid at home.

"I want them to know how much we love and have missed them." Greenan said. "Heather has been overwhelmed by the love and concern that has come to them from home. This community has been so very kind and generous to the Usry's."

Ned Miller, Heather Usry's brother, was the only one in on the surprise. He was keeping in touch with Greenan about when the plane landed at GTR Airport and the route that would bring them to the street lined with well wishers.

"I had no idea there was a helium shortage," Greenan said. "I went to see Scott Reed about balloons for today and he is out and hasn't been able to get any. I was able to buy some balloons, nowhere near as many as I wanted. I was hoping to get orange balloons since that is the color for Leukemia. But you have to make the best of what you have."