Most kids have a hero: athletes, artists, performers and many more. Heroes are a person that a child – especially a wish kid – can look up to and dream about emulating. A number of people have influenced Bryer's life … doctors, caregivers and many others have ensured that he hasn’t faced his difficult journey alone. However, Bryer’s hero isn’t a celebrity or a superhero, nor a doctor or a nurse. Bryer’s hero is a volunteer firefighter. But, more importantly, his hero is his dad.
From the moment Bryer was born, his parents knew that he would have an unusual life. A hole in his diaphragm and underdeveloped lungs have made his childhood scattered with treatments and trips in and out of the hospital. Throughout his life, one thing hasn’t changed: His dad being a firefighter. Bryer has watched his dad, Michael, slip on his firefighter gear before rushing off to the fire station to save lives. Michael, a volunteer firefighter, is the hero that Bryer admires the most, wishing to be just like him.
Imagine Michael’s surprise when his son revealed his one true wish: to be a firefighter just like his dad. Make-A-Wish and the Tupelo Volunteer Fire Department pulled out all the stops to give Bryer a five-alarm firefighter extravaganza. He spent his day living as if he were a full-time volunteer firefighter. It began with the presentation of a custom-made set of firefighter’s gear, designed to fit him perfectly. Now he could slip into his gear before rushing off to save lives, just like he’d watched his dad do so many times before him. Wearing the helmet, jacket, pants and boots made Bryer look like the hero he had imagined himself being so many times before.
It was good that Bryer suited up because immediately after he got dressed, fire sirens rang throughout the station – there was an emergency downtown. Within minutes, Bryer and the rest of the firefighters were on the scene working together to put out a real fire. Bryer held the hose, aiming for the fire. Within minutes, the blaze fizzled out and it was back to the firehouse to rest. But not for long. Another fire called the firefighters out again; they had work to do.
Bryer lived a day as the firefighting hero he had always admired: his dad. Thanks to his parents, community, donors and Make-A-Wish, his wish had come true. Bryer’s future won’t always be easy, but he’ll always have his wish to look back to and inspire him during the difficult journey ahead.