Eli loves playing with trucks and watching his favorite cartoon, Paw Patrol. When volunteers met with Eli to find out what his one true wish would be, it was his love of his favorite Paw Patrol character, Marshall the Fire Dog, that ultimately inspired his wish to be a firefighter.
Eli is a four year old little boy from Alabama who was diagnosed with cancer. He loves playing with trucks and watching his favorite cartoon, Paw Patrol. When volunteers met with Eli to find out what his one true wish would be, it was his love of his favorite Paw Patrol character, Marshall the Fire Dog, that ultimately inspired his wish to be a firefighter.
On December 11, 2015, Eli, his parents, brothers, and other family members visited Macy’s at the Riverchase Galleria near Birmingham, Alabama, to write a letter to Santa. Eli didn’t know that the whole trip was a set up to reveal his wish!
As Eli was about to put his letter in the big red mailbox, he spotted Sparky , the Hoover Fire Department’s mascot, running through the store. Firefighters, who were pretending to look for Sparky, approached Eli and asked if he could help them search for their missing fire dog.
The firefighters led Eli up the escalator and then back down, taking him throughout Macy’s departments as the excitement to find Sparky built. Firefighters then led Eli outside where Macy’s employees, Chi Omega sorority sisters, community supporters, and Make-A-Wish staff lined a red carpet that extended to a fire truck and Fire Chief John Wingate, who revealed to Eli that his wish to be a firefighter would be granted!
Hoover Firefighters dressed Eli in a custom fireman suit, complete with his name on the back and then allowed him to complete a few “training exercises” in preparation for his official reporting to duty. He was able to complete smoke drills in a safety trailer, and then his final task was to extinguish a live fire! After receiving his certificate of completion, Eli and his family were able to climb aboard the fire truck for a quick spin around the parking lot, complete with sirens, lights and cheers from those who had gathered to witness the hope, strength, and joy that Eli and his entire family were experiencing.
Eli will report to duty at the Hartselle Fire Department near his home, where he will get to experience more firefighting fun, including sliding down the pole at the fire house!
Make-A-Wish Alabama is so grateful to Macy’s for their support and for helping us pull off such an amazing wish reveal for such a special little boy.