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Firefighters Make Connor One of Their Own


“ A day as a firefighter made Connor’s ordeal fade away. ”

The life of a firefighter changes from one minute to the next: snap decisions to make, scary situations to face head-on and emotional outcomes to contend with – sometimes all in one day.

Unfortunately, cancer patients and their families also know these ordeals all too well.

But when 2½ year-old Connor spent a day with his heroes at the Raleigh Fire Department training facility, thoughts of hospitals, treatments and other facets of his illness seemed far away.

When Connor’s cancer treatment hindered his ability to enjoy playgrounds and parks because of his low immune system, the family would get in the car and drive around town. Connor always loved trucks, according to his parents, Byron and Joanna. And his face would especially light up when they passed a fire truck. When Make-A-Wish offered to grant Connor a wish, there was no doubt as to what Connor wanted – to spend a day at the fire department.

The Raleigh Fire Department was delighted to make Connor an honorary firefighter for the day, spending time with him and his family, letting him operate the controls on the truck and spray water from the fire hose. They even invited him for a ride in the fire truck during the city’s lively St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Byron and Joanna, who were among many friends, family and community supporters cheering for Connor as the truck proudly rolled through the parade, said the experience was a great way to celebrate the end of what had been a tough year for them all. But seeing an endless smile on Connor’s face that chilly March day was their biggest reward, as was making great memories that they will cherish for many years to come.

“The people we met were amazing, always kind and attentive to Connor, and invited us to stay as long as Connor liked,” said Joanna. “It was clear that Connor felt that he had found his place among the firefighters.”

  • Connor gazes at the well-worn gear of his fellow firefighters.

  • It’s not a complete trip to the firehouse without a trip down the pole.

  • Connor asks questions to get up to speed.

  • Ready to roll in the firetruck.

  • Suited up and ready for action.

  • Connor’s new colleagues pose for a photo.

  • Looks like someone’s wish is coming true today …

  • One of these things is slightly smaller than the others.

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Linda J.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Connor! You are an honorary Firefighter little guy! <3

September 10, 2014 - 11:45 AM

Camden B., FF/NRP

Hope to see you on a call some day Connor. Stay strong and get well soon brother!

Paramedic / Firefighter

September 11, 2014 - 11:50 AM

Karen N.

You are an amazing, brave little boy! God Bless You!

September 15, 2014 - 6:26 PM

carol t.

how wonderful for connor. may all the fire fighters be given a huge thank you for what they did for connor as well as what they do every day in their job as firemen and women

September 26, 2014 - 5:55 PM


God Bless!

January 06, 2015 - 11:20 AM

Hannah D.

You are an amazing little guy! I'm praying for you!

January 06, 2015 - 2:37 PM

Zachary M. FFII

Welcome to the brotherhood little man, keep up the good fight and get well soon.

Your Fire brother, Zachary.

January 17, 2015 - 4:23 PM

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