Friends, family organize birthday parade for Grass Valley man with leukemia |

Friends, family organize birthday parade for Grass Valley man with leukemia

Even by 2020 standards, Skyler Monahan-Tonti has been having a tough year.

The 33-year-old Grass Valley resident, who has Down syndrome, was diagnosed with leukemia in September and has been undergoing chemotherapy, said mom Bridget Monahan.

In October, it was discovered he had multiple spinal column stress fractures, necessitating surgery last week.

“It’s been rough,” said family friend Robin Smith. “He’s a real trooper.”

It was important to celebrate Skyler’s birthday in style this year, but Monahan knew it would be difficult to pull off with COVID-19 restrictions.

That’s where Skyler’s guardians. Isaac and Sara Dunn, came in, spearheading a drive-by parade from Condon Park to his Butler Street home.

Initially, Monahan said, Isaac Dunn offered to drive by with some coworkers from Economy Pest Control. Skyler knows them because he has gone bowling with them for the Big Brothers Big Sisters annual fundraiser, Monahan explained.

Then, other people started getting involved, and it snowballed, she said.

“He deserves it,” Monahan said.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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