CHARDON, Ohio (WJW)– A local little boy who has been battling a rare form of cancer for the past year and a half was granted a very special wish.
Four-year-old Lucas Kelling was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma and given only a 1 percent chance of survival. Since January 2020, the Chardon boy has endured five rounds of chemotherapy, a 12-hour-long tumor resection and two stem cell transplants that nearly took his life.
But, now not only is Lucas defying the odds, but his dream of becoming a firefighter has also come true.
“It’s a dream come true just to watch him have fun and be a kid again,” said Jamie Kelling, Lucas’s mother.
On Thursday, the Chardon Fire Department teamed up with A Special Wish Foundation Cleveland to make several of Lucas’s dreams come true.
“We jumped at the opportunity, said sign us up we want to do this,” said Chardon Fire Chief Larry Gasbar.
Gasbar picked Lucas and his family up from their home in a fire truck. and then took them to the fire station where Lucas was immediately sworn in to the department. Then he received training to be a paramedic and firefighter; getting to ride the engine ladder lift and also spraying the firehose.
“This is very exciting. He spent a lot of time in the hospital not being able to do a whole lot,” said Eric Kelling, Lucas’s father.
Although it was fun for the 4-year-old, Lucas told FOX 8 that’s not why he wants to be a firefighter.
“I want to save people,” shouted Lucas.
And very soon into the day, he got that wish too. A call for help came in saying that Spiderman was stuck and frozen inside of an ice cream truck. So Lucas and the other firefighters rushed over to King Kone and the brave little boy saved his favorite superhero from the ice cream truck.
Afterward, Spiderman thanked Lucas by giving him a drone and Chardon Mayor Jeffrey Smock presented him with a key to the city.
“Lucas is such a special kid and he really has beaten all of the odds. So we’re so happy and excited to turn him into a firefighter today,” said Emily Pitera, program director with A Special Wish Foundation Cleveland. “It was a great day for him!”
It really was a terrific day that his parents say they’ll always remember.
Lucas now has an 80 percent chance of survival right now, but that could improve as he grows stronger every day. Eric and Jamie Kelling said they’re forever grateful to everyone who made this day possible and for all the support and prayers.
“Really we just try to live life right now, just enjoy every single day that we have with each other, not just Lucas, but our other two kids and making every moment count,” Jamie said.
A Special Wish Foundation Cleveland recently partnered with Nurenberg Paris. The Cleveland-based non-profit charitable organization grants wishes for children between birth and 20 years of age.
As of today, they said they’re, “Proudly granting wishes for 201 Cleveland-area wish children that are cared for at The Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, UH Rainbows Babies and Children’s Hospital, Akron Children’s and The Ronald McDonald House. “