Adorable Boy With Cancer Becomes Honorary FDNY Firefighter
Lifestyle| | By Margo Gothelf
Thanks to the New York City Fire Department, a 3-year-old boy with cancer is going to become an honorary fireman.
Trucker Dukes was diagnosed with cancer about a year and a half ago. Dukes and his mother Shauna are currently living in New York while he undergoes treatment for his Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive cancer that overtakes the nervous system.
Dukes loves to see firetrucks in the streets since moving to the city. One day when returning home, a bunch of firetrucks were gathered outside his building responding to a call about a small kitchen fire.
“Every fire truck, he thought it was for him,” his mother shared with Today. “He would hear a siren, and his jaw would drop.” Dukes’s father, Joshua, is also a firefighter in their hometown in Hawaii.
Dukes was so excited about the trucks that he instantly greeted the Captain, James Grismer, and ran right into his arms.
“I see this little boy excitedly walking towards me with his eyes aglow. I opened my arms and he basically climbed up and hugged me around the neck,” Grismer shared with Hawaii news channel KHON 2. “It was as if we’ve been friends/brothers for years.”
Grismer later invited Dukes to visit the station where a friendship was instantly built. The fellow firefighters even threw him a party for his third birthday.
They “brought us meals at the hospital, they’ve given us rides in the firetrucks, they’ve hosted us for holidays… They’ve been amazing,” said Dukes’ mother. “We have these people that are now like our family that we wouldn’t have met otherwise.”
While Dukes and his mother are in New York, his father is back in Hawaii with his other three siblings.
A photo posted by Shauna Dukes (@mauimammadukes) on
Three firehouses on the Upper East Side now welcome Dukes whenever he is in the area and always “have standby mac and cheese in their lockers,” shared Today.
When New York Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro heard about Dukes and his story, he knew he wanted to make the little boy an honorary firefighter. Dukes will be “officially sworn in” at the FDNY’s Brooklyn headquarters on May 31.
Even before Dukes was born, his mother knew he was destined to be a firefighter.
“We were at my husband’s fire station every Sunday,” his mother shared. “I think [Trucker] was just born a firefighter.”
To learn more about Dukes and his cancer fund click here.