Strangers on a chain

A.J.’s dad is a firefighter at the local firehouse where this celebration was held, and while the family was enduring this ordeal, his fellow firefighters mobilized a “rescue squad” to take over many household duties—cleaning house, yard work, and even deck-painting—so the family’s focus could remain on A.J.

The night before his first surgery, two firefighters showed up at 11:00 pm in the hospital to sit with A.J.’s family—simply to be there, present with them. This show of friendship and support meant so much. Other co-workers donated their vacation days to help their friend spend time with his son.

The generosity extended beyond the firehouse, though. As medical expenses mounted, the neighborhood organized a community yard sale to raise funds to help with the mounting medical expenses, and people remembered one little boy who was especially happy to be able to deliver the money his family had earned.