Posts Tagged Make-A-Wish Foundation

Fire service news … Make-A-Wish Foundation

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El Dorado County’s fire district (CA)  just swore in its youngest firefighter. He’s so little, they had to special order his uniform. He’s a little guy, but I bet you won’t underestimate him when you see what he’s overcome.

With a big smile and beaming eyes, Magnum’s mom Tashina calls him a rough and tumble “joy boy.” You’d never know this joy boy spent four of his five years battling a rare bone marrow disorder.

Doctors diagnosed Magnum shortly after his first birthday. It would lead to 21 blood transfusions and then 21 platelet transfusions during a bone marrow transplant.

Through it all, there was one thing that always brought a smile: fire engines. Magnum calls them “woo-woos.” He even told his mom he wanted to be a woo-woo when he grows up.

The first time we met Magnum, the Make-A-Wish Foundation couldn’t turn him into a fire engine, but they promised the next best thing. He got to ride in one as a real-life firefighter with the El Dorado County Fire Protection District.

“It strikes at the core of who we are as firefighters and why we’re here,” said Fire Chief Tim Cordero. “I mean, this is at the ground level. This is why we do what we do.”

It strikes at the core of being a firefighter and a parent.

Magnum said he wants to be a firefighter because “they help people, they save people.”

Magnum is officially on the road to recovery. He just wrapped up his last monthly blood draw.

What made his wish even more special is that it was the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Northeastern & Central California and Northern Nevada chapter’s 10,000th wish, while the chapter celebrates 40 years.

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Of interest … Make-A-Wish Foundation and fire department help 7-year-old

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A dream became a reality Monday for one brave 7-year-old in Hanover County, VA. Javi Guzman anxiously waited for his Make-A-Wish day for months due to the pandemic. Now, he is officially sworn in as the newest and youngest addition to the Hanover County firehouse.

“He’s been waiting for this day to come,” his mom, Amy Guzman said. “Every time a siren goes past our house, he always runs outside.” “As a little boy I remember all the time when he was little, he said ‘I wanna be a firefighter one day’ and I said ‘well, you have to work hard, one day you will,’” his dad Martin Guzman said.

His wish was granted in a special ceremony and day of adventure, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“It was an easy yes without even having to consider it,” Hanover Fire Chief Jethro Piland said. “Javi is truly an inspiration to us with his courageous and brave behavior.”

Javi is a true fighter, facing obstacles that most firemen never have to go through. He’s battled a form of blood cancer since he was a toddler. Now, he’s in remission.

However, there’s a deeper reason he looks up to these firefighters. Months ago, the Guzman family suffered heartbreak after a house fire, but Javi was inspired by those who stepped in to help.

“These are the firefighters that responded to his home when he had a fire,” Chief Piland said.

Now, he’s a part of the brotherhood and was officially sworn in as a firefighter in a special ceremony. As a part of his day as a firefighter, he got to ride in a firetruck and tour the firehouse. He faced an obstacle course, got to use a fire hose, and climbed dozens of feet in the air on a ladder.

All of his classmates got in on the fun and attended his ceremony.

His mother says his bravery knows no limits. His biggest request was to take a ride in a helicopter, so Make-A-Wish made it happen.

It is a day he will never forget, surrounded by a support system that will always have his back.

“When you have that you just feel like you can get through some really tough times,” Amy Guzman said, fighting back tears.

Make-A-Wish is in need of volunteers. If you want to help kids like Javi, click here.

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Harlem Roscoe Fire Department news

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The Make-A-Wish Foundation reached out to the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Department to help with a young child’s wish, and on Sunday, August 13, 2017, the firefighters had the opportunity to help make a Chase’s wish come true.

Harlem-Roscoe Fire Chief Don Shoevlin says. “It was Chase’s wish to go to Disney. Well the foundation got that part done, then reached out to us. We were more than happy in being part of the beginning to his unbelievable journey.”

The fire department arrived at Chase’s home and escorted him and his brother to the tollway in the firetruck with the lights flashing.

Chief Shoevlin added, ” We can only hope and wish that his “WISH” will be the most memorable for him and his family. Thank you for asking us to be a part of it.”

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Fund to assist Frankfort lieutenant and his family

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Many parents know this scenario: a child bumps his head, a lump appears. In the case of 9-year-old Brandon Otte of Shorewood, the lump didn’t disappear. A CT scan revealed an abnormality, a tumor above his left eye.

Brandon’s father is Jeff Otte a lieutenant/paramedic with the Frankfort Fire Protection District.

Brandon has Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), a rare cancer that causes an excess of white blood cells to accumulate in the body and form tumors, also known as lesions. He is the oldest of seven children.

The lump appeared in December 2015. Surgery to remove the lesion was scheduled for the end of January 2016. Since shortly before the surgery, Jeff has been caring for all seven children under age 10 on his own.

The children are Brandon, 9; Julie, 7; Natalie, 6; Emilie, 4; Callie, 3; and Noah, who has autism and is nonverbal, 2; and Benjamin, 16 months. Jeff said he doesn’t have much extended family except for his sister, Cindy McDorman of Galesburg.

After surgery, Brandon began 52 weeks of chemotherapy, which he will complete in early 2017. His spirits are great and his prognosis is good.

In April, the family faced another health scare. Cindy was diagnosed with a rare breast cancer. In May, she had a double mastectomy. But Cindy is now in remission and staying at the Otte home about one week each month.

Jeff said various groups have arranged Christmas presents and holiday activities to keep the season festive for the children. On Dec. 26, the family leaves for Disneyland in California, courtesy of the Make a Wish Foundation.

Jeff listed the rest of his support system: neighbors, staff at Troy School District 30-C, the Joliet Park District (where some of his children attend after-school activities) and even The Village Christian Church in Minooka – which Jeff said he and his family joined in September.

In August, Jeff created a GoFundMe page with a goal of $10,000. As of Thursday, the amount was raised was just $3,395.

Jeff said his main financial need is not money for medical bills but to pay his full-time and part-time nannies, so Jeff can continue working his job and keep the insurance for his kids.

A firefighter since 1998 in Crestwood, Jeff came to Frankfort in 2005.

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Mt Prospect firefighters make wish come true

The Daily Herald has an article about the Mount Prospect Fire Department working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to 

A special present from the Make-A-Wish Foundation — an adaptive bike — arrived Friday afternoon at the Mount Prospect home of 11-year-old Zachary Jakubowski, who has a rare and severe form of epilepsy. But the foundation made the wish even sweeter by having Mount Prospect Fire Chief John Malcolm and Mount Prospect firefighters arrive at his home …  to give Zachary a ride around the neighborhood in a fire truck.

For the Lincoln Junior High School student, who is obsessed with firefighters, it was the ride of a lifetime. “This is his wish. He has always wanted to be a fireman,” his father, Eric Jakubowski, said. “His favorite thing to do is (watching) ‘Chicago Fire.’ He knows them all by heart.”

“I hear you’re going to be a fireman,” Malcolm said to Zachary. “I’ve got a ride for you. Want to go for a ride?” He handed Zachary a Mount Prospect fire chief’s helmet and a T-shirt commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Mount Prospect fire service.

“This is tremendous. I had tears in my eyes when I saw the fire brigade coming down the street, said Zachary’s mother, Joni Beaudry. “He has always loved fire trucks, so we thought that would be great.”

Zachary’s adaptive bike will be decked out like a fire engine.

“It looks like a large tricycle, but it’s large enough that my husband and I will ride, and he will ride in front,” Joni Beaudry said. “Now we can go back on family bike rides. We couldn’t do that for a while, because there is no way to take him on a longer bike ride.”

Malcolm said the department was honored to be a part of fulfilling Zachary’s wish. “When they called us initially to come out and support it, I said, ‘Absolutely.’ They just wanted a T-shirt. I said, ‘We’ll do more than that. We’ll bring the fire department out,'” Malcolm said. The smile on his face — what a great feeling.”

thanks Chris

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Wish comes true for firefighter’s daughter

Paige Spicka Make-A-Wish sendoff

Paige received a customized set of turnout gear this afternoon. Tim Olk photo

Firefighters from the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District and Chicago firefighters at O’Hare Airport teamed up to support the family of a Lincolnshire-Riverwoods (LRFPD) firefighter that went to Disney World in Orlando thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Paige Spicka is six years old and was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. She has endured multiple surgeries since birth. Today, from 10AM-NOON, LRFPD members, their families, and friends of the Spicka family attended a going away party at Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Station 53 complete with Disney movies, cake, an obstacle course, and a pinata.

Paige Spicka Make-A-Wish sendoff

Paige and her parents share a moment at the send off party. Tim Olk photo

Paige Spicka Make-A-Wish sendoff

Paige Spicka's wish came true today as she and her family went on a week's vacation to Disney World. Tim Olk photo

After the party at Station 53 was over, it was time to head to O’Hare Airport for the flight to Orlando. RED Center toned out an overhead dispatch for Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Engine 51 to respond to O’Hare Airport to deliver Paige and her family for their flight. They all strapped into Engine 51 for the trip which included a command car. Paige’s pink car seat was secured into the officer’s seat in the cab for the journey.


Paige Spicka Make-A-Wish sendoff

Paige exits the party and leads everyone into the apparatus bay for the obstacle course. Later she broke a pinata filled with candy for the long flight by swinging a short pike pole. Tim Olk photo


Paige Spicka Make-A-Wish send off

Paige settles comfortably into the officer's seat and communicates over the headset with her driver (her dad) so he knows that she's ready to go. Tim Olk photo


















When Engine 51 got to Mannheim Road, they were met by 5-1-2 and Squad 7 for the trip to departures. Chicago firefighters presented paige with a CFD t-shirt and they escorted her into the terminal and to the gate. The personnel that came from Lincolnshire was escorted to the jetway on the field-side of the terminal and met the family there for a final send off.

Paige Spicka Make-A-Wish sendoff

CFD companies from O'Hare escort Engine 51 with paige on-board to the terminal for the flight to Orlando. Tim Olk photo

Paige Spicka Make-A-Wish sendoff

The Lincolnshire contingent followed CFD companies to the departure area. Tim Olk photo

Paige Spicka Make-A-Wish sendoff

Paige is greeted by the CFD firefighters who will escort her to the gate. Tim Olk photo

Paige Spicka Make-A-Wish sendoff

Paige shows off her new CFD t-shirt courtesy of the firefighters at O'Hare. Tim Olk photo

Thanks to Tim Olk for spending the better part of his day for such a worthy purpose. He has an extensive gallery HERE.

From the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection;

Today was a day of celebration.  We celebrated a gift, a six year old gift named Paige Spicka.  Paige was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, basically with half her heart.  She has gone through more in her short time than most would in their lifetime.  Paige was granted “her wish” to go to Disney World in Orlando Florida to meet Mickey Mouse and sleep in Cinderella’s castle through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Wisconsin Chapter.  Paige was given a send off by her second family, the Lincolnshire Riverwoods Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 4224, Chief Fred Kruger and the Lincolnshire Riverwoods Fire Department.  Paige was surrounded by friends and family and driven to O’Hare International Airport where she was met by our brothers of Chicago Fire Department Local 2 and escorted to the gate for her trip.  The local would like to give our sincere thanks to Chief Kruger and staff, Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner John McNicholas (CFD), Deputy District Chief Jerry Knapp (CFD), Larry Langford (CFD), Karen Pride (Chicago Aviation), Tim Olk, and the crews from CFD E-10, HazMat 5-1-2, and Squad 7.


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