AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - A 7-year-old boy battling leukemia received a surprise he and his family will never forget Thursday afternoon.
What was just another day at Hillside Elementary turned into one to remember for Ethan Thompson and his family.
Members of the Amarillo Fire Department flew in on a LIFESTAR helicopter to ask him to be AFD Fire Chief for the Day.
“He goes through an awful lot. He’s doing really well with all his treatments and everything like that,” said Kristy Thompson, Ethan’s mom. “He still has his fair share of struggles, and a lot of other things that happen. So this is just so special. It’s kind of a once in a lifetime thing that you get to do. It just means a lot.”
Ethan was diagnosed with leukemia in September of 2016.
He’s in maintenance now, but still has over a year left to go on his treatments.
“He does monthly chemos, every three months he has spinal taps. Then, he’s on a whole list of other medications to help with all the side effects,” said Thompson.
That’s why his family says a day like this for him, and his brother Charlie, is so powerful.
When Ethan gets to fly in the helicopter next Friday, he’ll have a connection with LIFESTAR that began in the hospital years ago.
“He was scared, he was only 5, and they finally called the Lifestar guys in because they specialize in those types of things,” said Thompson. “They finally got his line started so he could start his medication to feel better. He has a special place in his heart for the LIFESTAR people.”
“LIFESTAR was just an idea that we dreamt up and thought it would be cool to fly in a helicopter and to hear that kind of connection,” said Kyle Joy, Captain at the Amarillo Fire Department. “I think it’s just another example of this is just a God-sent thing.”
The AFD says they want to serve as a support system for families who are battling childhood cancer.
The Thompson’s want families to know they’re not alone.
“Hang in there, do the best you can and everyday is precious,” said Thompson.
As fire chief, Ethan and his family will take a ride in a LIFESTAR helicopter, have a meal from Sharky’s and spend the night at Embassy Suites.
All coming together to give this family an experience they will never forget.