First responders from #RhodeIsland and #Massachusetts came together Monday evening to surprise a toddler battling cancer.
#Firefighters from nearby communities and officials from 40 police departments held a drive-by parade of lights in Warwick, Rhode Island, for two-year-old Rowan Shaw, who was diagnosed with high-risk metastatic neuroblastoma in 2020, according to WPRI.
He will soon be undergoing one-and-a-half years of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.
However, events like the parade, according to his uncle Daniel Rayhall, are what he needs to stay positive.
“For him, always trying to be the strong one for the family is sometimes the hardest,” he commented.
Video footage showed Rowan pointing out the window as the trucks drove by his house, honking and flashing their lights.
The Warwick Police Department posted aerial photos of the parade and Rowan’s house on Tuesday and thanked everyone who helped make the event special.
“Rowan’s smile and thumb’s up at the end of the procession leads us to believe he enjoyed the show!” the department said.
Sgt. Matthew Higgins and the police department just wanted to put a smile on the child’s face.
“Seeing the fight that this little guy is going through in our city, the police department — we just wanted to see what we could come together as a city community, as a city family to show support for him and his family and friends,” Higgins told WJAR.
Their efforts made Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi proud of the city’s residents.
“They’re all pulling for this little guy. It’s important to the community to be able to do this. It helps us heal,” he said.
Although Rowan had to stay safe inside during the parade, Rayhall stood outside receiving gifts for him, including patches from police departments across the country he will add to his collection.
“He’s a fighter. He’s gonna come out stronger in the end no matter what,” Rayhall stated, adding, “We love you.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, a GoFundMe page for the toddler has raised $19,417 of its $50,000 goal.
Last weekend, the police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, organized a birthday parade for 6-year-old girl Paydenn.