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First she got sick with COVID-19. Then she got her very own American Girl Doll. Now she’s going to be the Grand Marshal for the 37th Annual Dominion Energy Christmas Parade.

This year has been quite a year for Richmond Ambulance Authority EMT April O’Quinn.

“April O’Quinn has such an inspiring story and embodies what it means to be a true hero as a frontline worker,” parade director Beth Karrer said. “We are so grateful to April and all of the Richmond Ambulance Authority crew for their work in the Richmond community.”

Over the summer, O’Quinn was one of five national winners in the “Heroes with Heart” contest run by American Girl Dolls.

Families were asked to nominate a hero on the COVID-19 frontlines who risked their lives to help others during the pandemic.

O’Quinn was nominated by her niece Lacey after the EMT returned to work following a battle for COVID-19.

Due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, the Dominion Energy Christmas Parade will be a televised-only event.

You can watch the parade Saturday, December 5 from 10 a.m. to noon only on WTVR CBS 6 and streaming on, or by downloading the CBS 6 streaming channel on your Roku, AppleTV or Amazon Fire Stick.

“The Christmas Parade broadcast will include all-new performances from favorite local and regional entertainment groups, community stories, and a special competition showcasing homemade float entries,” a parade spokesperson wrote in an email. “The broadcast will also feature ‘best of’ clips from over the years including floats, balloons, and marching bands.”

In addition to the parade, children can take part in the Chick-fil-A Family Float Building Contest. Click here for details.