Tyler Seddon turns 7 today and it will be a birthday he won’t soon forget.
With a strong contingent from the Merrimack Valley, hundreds of police officers, firefighters and ambulance workers from Massachusetts are headed to Rhode Island this morning to fulfill the young cancer patient’s birthday wish.
For the second time now, Tyler is battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. In mid-February, his mother put out a request to first responders asking them to send him cards for his March 6 birthday. She wanted it to be the best day of his life.
Since then, “Tyler’s Troops” quickly mobilized after his story went viral. Already he’s received cards and gifts from around the world. The Los Angeles and Miami-Dade police department sent him special messages. He’s also being named police colonel today in his hometown of Burrillville, R.I., according to press reports.
Recently, a friend sent Lawrence firefighter Adam Marino a link to Tyler’s story.
“It just touched me. I wanted to try to make him smile,” said Marino, the father of three boys and a 14-year firefighter.
“I love working with kids and being around kids. And here’s this kid who has already beat cancer once and now he has to beat it again,” Marino said.
This morning, Marino accompanied by four fellow Lawrence firefighters — Juan “Manny” Gonzalez, Jose Ortiz, Joe Maloney and Michael Delaney Jr. — are heading to Rhode Island in a department SUV to see Tyler.
The Lawrence firefighters will be among 75 fire departments from Massachusetts sending a variety of apparatus for Tyler’s birthday. Lawrence firefighters all signed a giant card for Tyler and a collection of patches for the boy was organized by Deputy Chief Brian Murphy.
The Methuen Fire Department also sent an engine in this morning’s convoy, according to a listing provided by the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts.