Young boy battling cancer becomes honorary firefighter in Lee's Summit

Posted at 6:46 PM, Aug 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-22 05:52:57-04

At  2 1/2 years old, Brayden Williams is getting his career started a little early.

“We made him an honorary fire firefighter,” Assistant Fire Chief Jim Eden, of Lee’s Summit Fire Department, said.

Brayden knows how to dress like a firefighter and how to spray a hose. And he got to do what every firefighter loves to do.

“I'm going to ride on the fire truck,” Brayden said.

Brayden’s mom, Julie, said Brayden loves fire trucks and has always wanted to get close to one.

“I posted on Brayden's Facebook that he loved fire trucks,” she said. “And I had so many offers, generous offers from people offering to set up days for him to do this.”

Because unlike many parents who have kids with a dream, Julie and her husband, Bret, just don’t know if they’ll see the day when their son is big enough to actually drive a fire truck.

“He has inoperable brain cancer and he's taking chemo for that,” Julie said.

Doctors diagnosed Brayden when he was only one, and they started chemo right away. Seven weeks later, he had an allergic reaction that forced them to stop.

One month ago, doctors discovered the tumor was growing rapidly, so they started chemotherapy again. He needs weekly treatments for 52 weeks. They’ve completed three. Now, there are 49 more to go.

“He rarely cries; he does whatever he's supposed to be doing. He will hold his arms out so they can take his shirt off to access the little port in his chest for chemo,” said Julie. “He's a trooper.”

Not knowing what the future holds makes events like Thursday’s visit to the Lee’s Summit Police Department and Lee’s Summit Fire Department extra special.

“We do really want to say thank you to everybody who has helped and continues to help,” Bret said. “We know that little guy really appreciates it, and we love the ability to continue to make those memories with him.”

And these are memories they hope he’ll always hold onto.

“I wonder if he's just doing fun things but doesn't realize the things that he's getting to do are magnificent,” Julie said.

You can follow Brayden’s story on Facebook or his website.