Wilmington man battling cancer gets surprise 50th birthday parade


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–It was birthday party that Andy Estal will never forget. It’s not because he turned 50, but because his friends and family paraded down his street to share their well wishes.

“Just to see people last minute take time out of their days to come out, it is really overwhelming,”said Andy’s husband Jeff Phillips.

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Estal wasn’t going to let quarantine get in the way of celebrating his big day, even though he didn’t know about the parade until the cars started lining the streets in his honor.

“This was amazing to get to see everybody today, I’ve been really missing all my friends and family,”said Estal. “On my birthday you kind of have some expectations and it was all spoiled by this quarantine thing. So, this is awesome.”

On top of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Estal is battling stage-four colon cancer. He was once in remission, but it has since returned. He was overcome with emotions when talking about what the day meant to him as he continues to find strength in his fight with cancer each and every day.

“Everyone has been so supportive throughout my whole cancer journey and to have them all show up today was really very heartwarming.”