When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What a difference a wish can make

I have been talking a lot about making a difference lately.  It is very important to me and something that I really strive to do.  I am a volunteer EMT for the community that I live in and I mostly run at night when most of the sane world is sleeping.  It is a very fulfilling opportunity to serve.  I have seen more than I ever imagined, but have also been able to help people in the most difficult situations.  I wanted to share with you a true story.  Not one of mine, but one that is dear to my heart.  As you read it, I hope that you find one way that you can make a difference in someone's life today.

The Littlest Firefighter

The 26-year-old mother stared down at her 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 and fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible. The leukemia would see to that.
But she still wanted her son's dreams to come true. She took her son's hand and asked, "Bopsy, 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 six-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 Bopsy, dressed him in his fire uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Bopsy 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 Bopsy 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 Bopsy that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.
One night in the hospital months later, all of Bopsy's 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 Bopsy 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 Bopsy 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 just the fire 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, extended its ladder up to Bopsy's third floor open window and five firefighters climbed up the ladder into Bopsy'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, Bopsy looked up at the fire chief and said, "Chief, am I really a fireman now?" "Yes, Bopsy, you are a fireman now," the chief said. With those words, Bopsy smiled and closed his eyes one last time. He passed away later that evening.

For more on the background of this amazing true story:
www.wish.org/about/the_first_wish/the_first_make_a_wish_child - Make-A-Wish website on Bopsy
www.ci.phoenix.az.us... - Bopsy's story and photos in the Phoenix Fire Department's newsletter

This is a true story of the Make a Wish Foundation.  Imagine, out of the sorrow of one family came answers to the dreams and prayers of many.  To me, this is truly Christ-like.  This group of men showed us what it means to love unconditionally.
So, what are you doing today to make someone else's life just a little bit brighter than it was?  It does not have to be lifesaving.  It does not even have to take a lot of time or money.  It can be as simple as a loaf of fresh bread, or a plate of cookies, a shoveled walk or a small thoughtful gift.  The only rule is that it needs to come from your heart.  Have fun!


  1. What a wonderful story and I believe in living your life in the service of others or what would it all be worth if you didn't care? On Friday mornings I secretly go and discuss and teach the Gospel Principles lessons to elderly widows in our ward that have health problems and cannot make it to church on Sundays. It is not an assignment from the Bishop. I was raised by my grandfather and I remember watching that movie "The Mailbox" and it left a life long impression on me.

    You are truly a sweet woman who knows her gifts will benefit many = )


  2. Thank you so much May! I think the same of you! What a wonderful thing to do for others and what a great blessing you must be for them!