Shortly after, Shauna Dukes began to shuttle her little boy back and forth between his home in Hawaii and a specialist hospital in New York.
Trucker’s father, Joshua, wasn’t about to go to the hospital often because he works as a firefighter at home in Hawaii. Nevertheless, it’s crystal clear who Trucker’s idol is—his dad. As long as anyone can remember, Trucker has loved firefighters.
One day, fire chief Jim Grismer visited Ronald McDonald House, where Trucker and mom, Shauna, were staying during Trucker’s treatments. Jim sat down beside Trucker and they instantly hit it off.
“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. It was as if we’ve been friends/brothers for years,” fire chief Jim told the Huffington Post.
Since the first meeting, Trucker and the team of firefighters have quickly became good friends. Trucker celebrated his third birthday at the station, along with his heroes.
When a photo of Trucker and the firefighters spread across social media, the New York City Fire Department decided they wanted to do something special for the boy.
On May 31, during a special ceremony, they will swear Trucker in as an honorary New York City firefighter.
Although Trucker has been through several rounds of chemotherapy and had tumors removed from both his brain and stomach, he keeps his hopes up—with thanks to his close relationship with the firefighters, who help make Trucker’s days a little brighter.
“He really feels like a firefighter because they make him feel like one. It’s been amazing,” said mom Shauna.
“Trucker is so much braver than I am. All these kids fighting cancer are so amazing! Even though they feel like junk most of the time they usually have a smile on their face and all they care about really is playing. They are sick kids, but they are still kids and are little warriors!”
Mother Shauna urges parents who are in the same situation to never stop believing in their children.
“To other parents, I would say never lose hope and enjoy every moment because one day at a time is all any of us have really,” she said.
Little Trucker has certainly had a tough start to life, but through the support of friends, hospital staff, family, and firefighters on his side, this strong-willed 3-year-old is in the best position to get through this.
Thanks, firefighters! You’re all heroes!