Massachusetts Firefighters Help Make Ill Boy’s Dream Come True

During Dougie Davis’ short five years on earth, he’s dreamed of being a firefighter and was exploring the Burlington, Massachusetts, firehouse on July fourth before the annual parade. He wandered through the nooks and crannies of every engine and ambulance in his pint-sized custom turnout gear. 

Dougie even wears his plastic firefighter’s cap to his chemotherapy sessions, treatment he needs for the brain tumor doctors discovered last fall. A tumor they say in inoperable. 

Dougie lives in Billerica, Massachusetts, but his mother grew up in neighboring Burlington. When word got out of Dougie’s situation, they decided to do something. 

“Everybody chipped in from the chiefs to the secretaries to the dispatchers to the firefighters,” says Firefighter Paul Kadilak, who got the ball rolling. “So it was amazing how everyone jumped at the chance to help. It was pretty awesome, pretty special.”

What did they do? They made Dougie a firefighter for the day and let him lead the parade in the tower truck with family, friends and well-wishing strangers all along the route..  all making their support loud and clear. 

Craig Sanossian, a relative, wrestled with high emotions.”It’s going to be great to see him. You know,” he said.

Tamara Delrossi of Wilmington, Massachusetts, was watching the parade with her two small children. “I think it’s wonderful and it’s a great tribute to him and I think it’s great for the family.” But then, her voice broke. “I can’t even talk about it,” she said, crying.

Rich Davis, Dougie’s dad, says this special day was a surprise. “He had no idea,” he said. “It was top secret for a month, a little over a month.” He managed to laugh at the thought of it. “Trying to keep it secret has been difficult.”

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