Firemen make cancer victim’s day

By Jessica Coleman
Staff Writer
The week before they were to honor childhood cancer sufferers at the first annual St. Baldrick’s Jackson County, the committee got some bad news. One of the honorees, Jackson Caserma, who is currently in treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, had been admitted to the hospital and would be unable to join them.

Undeterred, committee chair Nick Strauss decided they would take the party to Jackson, and made arrangements for not only the St. Baldrick’s committee to visit, but for his fellow fire fighters to join them as well.

“We decided to take St. Baldrick’s to him for the day.” said Strauss. “His fascination is with firemen and fire trucks so we wanted to put a little joy into his life.”

Strauss arranged for Debbie, the pink fire truck operated by Crossroads Guardians of Hope, to make the trip to Texas Children’s Hospital.

The group arrived just before 11 a.m. and gathered the various gifts and surprises they had put together for four-year-old Jackson, and made the trek upstairs. They were greeted by nurses, Jackson’s mother Shannon, his grandmother, and little sister.

Jackson wasn’t feeling well the day of the visit, but he did make it downstairs to see the fire truck and have his name written on the side of it, alongside the hundreds of other signatures of those who have fought or are fighting various types of cancers.

Jackson’s illness prevented him from thoroughly enjoying the visit, but he did squeak out a high five for Strauss, and a “thank you” for the group.

His mother Shannon said he has since enjoyed the toys and memories, and that they are “lifers” for St. Baldrick’s. The family has pledged to join the event next year.

Strauss and the group has remained in touch with the Caserma family. Something about little Jackson and his family is special, they said, and everybody looks forward to a time when Jackson can visit.

Strauss and his fellow firefighters have offered an open invitation for Jackson and family to visit the station.

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