Fargo Firefighters Bring Gifts to Kids In the Hospital
The event is celebrating its 30th year.
FARGO, N.D. — Firefighters got out of their daily routines to continue the yearly tradition of delivering presents to kids in the hospital.
“It started back in 1990 I believe. And it’s something our local firefighter union teams up with Macy’s. So we buy presents, and then Macy’s also donates some and we go to the hospitals in town. We get a list of what children are going to be there, and we distribute presents every Christmas,” says Jordan Bernier, a Fargo Firefighter.
To celebrate 30 years of this event, they wanted to honor someone who always maintained a positive attitude through his struggles, and cared about others more than himself.
“Keaton’s story really hits home. It’s a child that wants to give back to other children who are in the hospital. So, I think that one hit, that one really hit home with me, and a lot of the other firefighters. We enjoy hearing stories like that,” he says.
The Fargo firefighters decided to include Keaton in this celebration, and invite his family to deliver gifts with them.
“Keaton was just selfless, I mean he wanted to give to anybody, any homeless person that was sitting along the road, he wanted to always give to everybody. It’s just how he was,” says Jason Nelson, Keaton’s dad.
Keaton was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was just three weeks old.
On December 17, Keaton passed away. He was just 13 years old.
“We spent a lot of time in this hospital. He had progressed to be more than the hospital could do, so we took him home, and he was on hospice and then he passed away,” he says.
When he was nine years old , he was granted a Make-A-Wish. He wanted to be Santa and deliver presents to kids in the hospital.
“So, we’re giving back, the legacy of Keaton, giving the presents back to the hospital and the people who do not have presents,” Nelson says.
They believe Keaton was with them, while they delivered the gifts.
“I believe he’s here in spirit right now. No doubt about it,” he adds.