Honorary Firefighter, 3, Dies After Battle Against Cancer: 'I Wish This Was Just a Bad Dream'
Little Trucker, 3, passed away in his mother's arms following a painful battle against stage 4 neuroblastoma.
A brave 3-year-old boy who was sworn in as an honorary member of the New York Fire Department just last year has lost his battle against cancer.
Read: 3-Year-Old Boy Battling Terminal Cancer Sworn In as Honorary FDNY Firefighter
In honor of his legacy, fire stations across New York State are honoring 3-year-old Trucker Dukes, of Hawaii, by adding his name to their riding lists with the hashtag, #TruckerRidesWithUs.
Little Trucker passed away in his mother’s arms last Friday, following a painful battle with stage 4 neuroblastoma.
“Oh my baby, how I wish this was just a bad dream,” his mom, Shauna Dukes of Maui, wrote on Facebook. “I miss you so much already."
His father, Joshua Dukes, who is a firefighter in Maui, wrote on Facebook: "We prayed that his passing […] would be peaceful, not painful and with ohana [family] there."
Trucker and his mom, Shauna, moved to New York City for treatment more than a year ago, and despite his three siblings and father still remaining in Maui, Trucker and his mom found themselves right at home in an FDNY firehouse on 85th Street on the Upper East Side.
Shauna told InsideEdition.com in an earlier interview they had been staying at the nearby Ronald McDonald House, but when he heard a fire engine pull up, he dashed straight into the arms of firefighter William Pitta.
"It was like a scene out of a movie," Shauna said in an earlier interview. "He saw Trucker’s face and opened his arms."
After months of getting to know each other, including inviting the family to dinner or hosting Trucker’s 3rd birthday party at their firehouse, firefighters decided to have the boy sworn in as an honorary firefighter in a May ceremony held on Randall’s Island.
Read: Girl, 4, Dies After Dad Shared Her Photo to Call Attention to Harsh Reality of Childhood Cancer
"Going through something like your baby having cancer is such a hard time," Shauna previously told InsideEdition.com. "All the men that showed up there today — they showed up to honor him. Tears were rolling down my face because it was so special."
As his health took a turn for the worse and Trucker was moved back to Maui, the family as well as the FDNY tried to raise money to send Trucker’s firefighter friends to visit him in Hawaii.
Now, the family is continuing to raise money to send the firefighters to his upcoming funeral.
To donate to Trucker’s cause, visit their fundraiser website.
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