WEYMOUTH — Quinn Waters was in the last place any 3-year-old boy would want to be during the summer: cooped up at home. But on Sunday, Quinn’s parents were taking him to the beach to finally feel the sand beneath his toes.
Quinn, who is battling a brain tumor has been house-bound since June. The boy’s immune system became weakened as a side effect of the treatment. Despite being stuck inside, the past three months haven’t been without excitement for Quinn. The South Shore community, especially Weymouth, rallied together to visit the boy, who took it all in from a big picture window – dubbed the “Quinndow” – in his Green Street home’s living room.
Sunday was no exception. About 300 souped up sports cars, hot-rods, vintage cars and any vehicle you could imagine belonging to the Spindles Auto Club drove by Quinn’s house. Engines revved and horns honked to the delight of the boy known as “The Mighty Quinn.” Friends and family gathered for the impromptu parade on the Waters’ front lawn. Batman and group of Disney princesses even came to greet Quinn, who received a number of presents including a car signed by the NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Neighbors gathered around a folding table, stacked with coffee and donuts.
“He was cleared to go outside and this is sort of the last hurrah,” said Quinn’s father, Jarlath Waters. “(The support) has been absolutely amazing.”
Back in February the Waters got news no parent wants to hear: their son was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer, the day after Quinn’s third birthday. He was admitted to Children’s Hospital.
Quinn’s mother, Tara Waters, has described the ups and downs of treatment and said the family has tried to keep their chins up in a tough situation. A Quincy police officer, Tara Waters’ police family began lending support to the Waters in the early days.
Quinn has seen a steady stream of visitors since being house bound. It started with friends and family, but in August he received visits from few higher profile well-wishers including members of the Dropkick Murphys, New England Patriots cheerleaders and Boston Bruins’ center Charlie Coyle, a Weymouth native.
Quinn returned to Boston Children’s Hospital at the beginning of September because of a blood infection. After several blood transfusions and surgeries, he came home and fans wasted no time getting back to his window. A contingent of police officers from across the state drove by Quinn’s window one day. Another day it was firefighters from near and far and on Friday sheriffs from across the Bay State stopped by with a sheriff’s unit mounted on horses.
“It’s been a roller-coaster of emotions,” Jarlath Waters said on Sunday. “This is a good one.”
Jarlath Waters said the outpouring of support has been amazing, saying he’s in awe of the hundreds of people who have helped his family out.
“We couldn’t ask for a better community,” Jarlath Waters said.
Andy Best, a road captain for a veterans’ motorcycle club, has been coming by the Waters house over the past few months to lend support and organized a group of motorcycles to drive by Quinn’s window. He credits the town of Weymouth for providing a support system for the Waters.
“Everybody is coming together,” Best said. “Weymouth is special. There is no other town like this.”
Neighbors have also been there for the Waters and haven’t seemed to mind the parades of police cruisers, fire trucks and vintage cars.
“It’s amazing,” said Traci Keith who lives on the street. “It just lifts the spirits for Quinn and his parents.”
After the excitement died down on Sunday, with the television cameras gone and his window closed, Quinn came out of the house with his 7-year-old sister Maggie and her friend Renee Walsh. Except for a few forays in the back yard and a trip to the hospital, it was Quinn Waters’ first time leaving his house in three months.
The 3-year-old said hello to some friends that stopped by and spoke to his next-door neighbors. Maggie and Quinn had both talked about going to the beach. Tara and Jarlath Waters packed the kids in the car and headed off to enjoy their Sunday together, something that shuttling back and forth from the hospital hasn’t allowed them to do much over the last year.