As the fire engine rounded the corner, sirens blaring, it made a slow stop in front of 3-year-old Tyren’s home. There was no fire today, but today was certainly significant. Today, little Tyren would become an official Detroit Fire Department (DFD) firefighter.
Only 1,120 days old, Tyren had always dreamed of becoming a first responder. But, getting to that dream had taken some work. At 2 years old, Tyren underwent a heart transplant at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. It wasn’t a quick recovery, but every day Tyren made great progress, his heart got stronger … and his dream kept him going.
“Are you ready to be a firefighter today?” asked one of the first responders as he slipped a pint-sized bunker coat on Tyren. With a nod of his head, Tyren and his mom climbed aboard the fire truck and traveled to the Engine 54 fire station.
There a crowd had gathered – firefighters, police officers, volunteers, school children, media and more – all welcoming the family to the fire station. Even Patches, the DFD Dalmatian mascot, welcomed Tyren and escorted him to a special ceremony where he was made chief for the day. Tyren even received his own official DFD badge, certificate and red firefighter helmet specially-designed for him.
Outside and with the help of another first responder, Tyren took a hand with the fire engine hose. As the water sprayed, Tyren giggled as Patches jumped through the spray. His family even had lunch at the firehouse – laughing and chatting with a few of the firefighters.
As the day came to a close, Tyren hopped into the driver’s seat of the engine, his eyes barely peaking over the window. This had been a remarkable day for a kid with a heart of gold. “Did you have fun?” his mom Tiesha asked. Tyren had little words, but the sparkle in his eyes and sweet grin said it all.
“The entire day was amazing, just seeing him smile like that,” Tiesha said. “He wants a fire truck to come pick him up again. We are so grateful for what Make-A-Wish did for Tyren.”
Wishes like Tyren’s have proven physical and emotional benefits that can give children with critical illnesses a higher chance of survival. For Tyren, his wish kept him going and helped him recover. Tyren’s heartwarming wish not only transformed his life but the lives of all those involved – it brought his community together.
There are few experiences more powerful than making a wish come true.
Join a caring community of people who help improve the lives of children battling critical illnesses. When a child like Tyren smiles, you’ll smile. See firsthand the power of pure joy when a wish is granted. Volunteer your time or contribute to a wish.