neurofibromatosis cafe

A place to talk about NF, have fun and share.

Am I a fireman yet?

firemanOur friend, Louise Cunningham from Scotland, sent this. I thought I would share it with you here:

In Phoenix , Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukemia.

Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up & fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible..

The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son’s dream to come true. She took her son’ s hand and asked, ‘Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?

“Mommy, I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.’

Mom smiled back and said, ‘Let’s see if we can
make your wish come true.’

Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix , Arizona , where she met Fireman Bob, who had! a heart as big as Phoenix?

She explained her son’s final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine

Fireman Bob said, ‘Look, we can do better than that. If you’ll have your son ready at seven o’clock Wednesday morning, we’ll make him an honorary Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards!?

And if you’ll give us his sizes, we’ll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat – not a toy — one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots. They’re all manufactured right here in Phoenix , so we can get them fast.

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station.

He was in heaven.

There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic’s’ van, and even the fire chief’s car. He was also videotaped for the local news program.

Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.

One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept – that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.

Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a Fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition. The chief replied, ‘We can do better than that. We’ll be there in five minutes.. Will you please do me a favor? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire?’

‘It’s the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?’

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy’s third floor open window——–16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy’s room. With his mother’s permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him. With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said,

‘Chief, am I really a fireman now?’

‘Billy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,’ the chief said.
With those words, Billy smiled and said, ‘I know, He’s been holding my hand all day, and The angels have been singing..’

He closed his eyes one last time.

March 11, 2009 - Posted by | neurofibromatosis


  1. This is an amazing story. You won’t have dry eyes after you read this. I love this true story. Thank you Louise for sharing this with us. I hope to see you on the blog soon.

    Comment by Reggie Bibbs | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. Wow, even I teared up a little after reading this!

    Comment by Lou | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. Me too.

    Comment by JohnP | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. What a cute kid

    Comment by Shelley | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. Kind of reminds me of me when I was that age except I had brown hair, brown eyes, a dark complexion and wasn’t cute.

    Comment by Lou | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  6. Reggie must have a girl on his mind lol

    Comment by Shelley | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  7. Shelley how did you? shhh.LOL

    Comment by Reggie Bibbs | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  8. I just can’t stop thinking about this story. I don’t want to get off tract. Let us remember what caused is illness.

    I hope this story will also bring awareness to leukemia as well neurofibromatosis. Maybe a cure for one will be a cure for all. Maybe someone here on the blog can answer that question.

    Comment by Reggie Bibbs | March 11, 2009 | Reply

  9. InFrance some associations helps young diseided to fifull dream. Your story is fantastic

    Comment by Boyer-Madrieres.Francis | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  10. Hey Francis! Did you see the photos of Reggie in the cool beret you sent him? Very nice.

    Comment by Lou | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  11. Now only if I could speak the language, I would be super cool.

    Comment by Reggie Bibbs | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  12. Good Afternoon Im getting me a cup of coffee was wondering if anybody was bloqqing or not

    Comment by Shelley | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  13. I’m here.

    Comment by Reggie Bibbs | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  14. Hey Reggie whats up

    Comment by Shelley | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  15. on comment 7 Its a female thing Reggie

    Comment by Shelley | March 12, 2009 | Reply

  16. Dear Lou
    Yes I saw Reggie with his beret. He looks very nice. Now he is more Frenchy than me. You took good photos about him. I’ll borrow one if you don’t nind. I need it for a text in my blog.Thank you very much. I wish francophone neurofibromatosis diseised persons konow better Reggie.
    In my last comment I talked about some asociations who help young very sick to fulfil dream!
    I advice evrybody to see these two sites. Don’t worry if you don’t understand the French: Photos are better than any text! and
    Kind regards Francis

    Comment by Boyer-Madrieres.Francis | March 13, 2009 | Reply

  17. Sorry I missed some comments. Couldn’t get on last night. I hope I can tonight.

    Comment by Reggie Bibbs | March 13, 2009 | Reply

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