Police, fire community celebrate cancer patient's 7th birthday
At the age of 7, Tyler Seddon of Burrillville received an honor Thursday that some grown men wait decades for. He became the chief of police for a day.
"It's an important day. It's an event. It's a chance of a lifetime," said Lisa Rabideau of the Burrillville Police Department.
Like most police officers, Tyler isn't a big fan of on-camera interviews. But don't let that fool you, this is one brave kid. Tyler's battling leukemia for the second time.
He's a big law enforcement fan, so before his birthday his mother, Rachel Seddon, asked that local fire and police officers send him a card. They decided to do a whole lot more than that.
The 7-year-old's birthday became a huge celebration. Hundreds of firefighters, police officers and first responders from several states attended a birthday party at Wright's Farm restaurant.
"I expected maybe just our locals to send a couple cards. I think we've probably gotten 800 cards so far and I still have bins to go through," Seddon said.
Tyler's story quickly spread across the Internet, attracting attention from all over the world. His mother had to rent a storage unit to fit all the presents sent to Tyler.
"The world needs a story and a happy ending," said Deborah Hanna-Kearnui's, whose father was a police officer killed in the line of duty.
She came from Massachusetts to give his jacket to Tyler.
"The story touched me. I had lung cancer in November of 2007, so I'm a cancer survivor and it's a fight every day," Hanna-Kearnui said.
Mike Jolin gave the medal he earned in Afghanistan.
"I think it reminds us of our own youth, our own dreams, the innocence of things that we can do and hope to do," Jolin said.
Rachel Seddon said she hopes all this love and support will bring her son the gift he needs this year, a bone marrow transplant that could save his life.