When 7-year-old Giovanni began to break out in hives shortly after boarding a plane in Bellingham, WA, with his parents, the family had no idea that their painful ordeal was just beginning.
"He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over," the boy's mom, Christina Fabian, told THV11 News. "So we informed the flight attendant, who informed us that there's dogs on every flight and just smirked . . . which minimized his experience for me."
The allergic reaction delayed takeoff, and eventually, the family was told that they'd have to deboard.
"We understood," Fabian said. "They helped us off the plane, but as we gathered our stuff the people toward the back of the plane clapped."
Although it's unclear if the passengers were applauding the mere fact that the plane was finally going to take off, the strangers' cheers – seemingly made at his expense – crushed little Giovanni.
He and his family, who live in Phoenix, had been visiting the coastal Washington town of Coupeville as a "bucket list" trip for his dad, George Alvarado, who has terminal stage 4 throat cancer. The trip was "to make memories," Giovanni said. "And I am sad that this has to be a memory with my dad."
The airline, Allegiant, has apologized to the family for the inconvenience, but Alvarado has used their negative experience to teach his son a lesson:
"You don't know how much time people have or why they are hurting," the dad said. "Just be nice. Be kind."