Return to mobile version

Brad Meets NYC Firefighters

“ It’s a transformational moment made possible by Brad's wish. ”

Brad’s back in the hospital … a broken collar bone. Not from taking a spill on a bike, playing football or anything even remotely risky. Just from using his walker to get around.

Brad’s condition makes his bones brittle. Add to that the long list of fractures and challenges – like spending years hooked to an IV drip for up to six hours a day, and wearing a full-body cast for eight weeks.

Still, Bradley does everything possible to enjoy life. He participates in Special Olympics bowling and a summer baseball league.

But what’s truly important to him is serving as an honorary member of the Somerset Fire and Rescue Department. He looks forward to the weekly meetings, the fire-prevention events, the parades.

But Brad’s condition makes it impossible for him ever to be a firefighter.

Still, he wants to get a taste of the firefighter’s life … and to meet some of the people who inspired the world in an unprecedented crisis: the emergency workers who saved countless lives on Sept. 11, 2001. Make-A-Wish® volunteers promise to grant his wish.

Brad’s day starts at FDNY Engine Company 210. He takes a tour, joins them for lunch, watches them race off on two emergency calls. Then he’s off to FDNY headquarters, where he gets a badge and photo ID … and he signs his name into the new-recruit logbook.

At the Operations Center, Bradley has an epiphany as dispatchers hold the city together during a fierce blizzard. He realizes … there are other ways I can help besides being a firefighter. It takes all sorts of talent to make it possible for rescue workers to do their job. Brad sees a path he can take to make a difference.

It’s a transformational moment made possible by his wish.

Back at home, Brad shares his story. He tells others about his new perspective and new prospects for the future. And he works to realize his goal – to be an emergency dispatcher for a city that needs him.

Join the conversation

This story makes me feel

Leave a Comment

More than 74 percent of all wishes granted involve travel.

When you support our Wishes in Flight® program, you help wish kids take flight.

Donate Your Airline Miles Now

From Wish Nation: 5 Inspiring Wish Connections

A wish experience connects. It sparks an interaction between a wish kid and a community that empowers lives. It reaffirms a belief in heroes and a knowledge that others care. As human beings, we can’t thrive in isolation. Our strength comes from the world around us.

Rachel J. discusses inspiring wish connections in a blog post.

Read the post: Wish Wednesday 5 Inspiring Wish Connections

Join the conversation

Leave a Comment


June 25, 2012 - 11:25 AM


Hi Brad- I think your wish was awesome! I lost my brother, Pete, on 9/11. He was in the FDNY. It makes me so proud that you picked this wish. I hope you had an amazing time. I am sure that the firefighters think you are a "hero" and so do I. Sincerely, Nancy

September 01, 2012 - 9:58 AM


Hi Brad! I can tell by what I have read about you that your one GREAT person. I am inspired by great kids just like you. You may not be able to physically participate in the main role of a firefighter but you are participating in another important role of a firefighter. Each of them are very fortunate to have you on their team! And I am glad to have met you, too. Thanks for the smiles* I'll be thinking of you* Cindy

September 25, 2012 - 10:24 AM

Sharon, Kimmy, Keyanna

People like you, inspire me to chase my goals. you go through alot and your so young. you enjoy life as if nothings wrong. i know your conditions make it hard to fulfill your dream but you dont let it stop you from meeting with them. you dont stay home and complain, you go out and take advantage of the things you can do!

January 15, 2013 - 10:14 AM

You might also be interested in ...

Brandon , 4

renal disorder

I wish to be a firefighter

Brandon's day to be a hero

When I got sick, I was given a lot of guardian angel pins. I believe they helped me in my battle against my illness. I hope these pins will bring comfort to other people. ”

— Brandi

Brandi Gives Guardian Angel Pins

J'Len , 4


I wish to be a police officer

J'Len catches the bad guy