7-year-old cancer survivor gets ultimate Make-A-Wish day as a Hanover Firefighter

A heartwarming story out of Hanover...where a new firefighter joins the ranks.
Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT
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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - A dream became a reality Monday for one brave 7-year-old in Hanover County.

Javi Guzman anxiously waited for his Make-A-Wish day for months due to the pandemic. Now, he is officially sworn in as the newest and youngest addition to the Hanover County firehouse.

“He’s been waiting for this day to come,” his mom, Amy Guzman said. “Every time a siren goes past our house, he always runs outside.”

“As a little boy I remember all the time when he was little, he said ‘I wanna be a firefighter one day’ and I said ‘well, you have to work hard, one day you will,’” his dad Martin Guzman said.

His wish was granted in a special ceremony and day of adventure, thanks to Make-A-Wish.

“It was an easy yes without even having to consider it,” Hanover Fire Chief Jethro Piland said. “Javi is truly an inspiration to us with his courageous and brave behavior.”

Javi is a true fighter, facing obstacles that most firemen never have to go through. He’s battled a form of blood cancer since he was a toddler.

Now, he’s in remission.

“It’s much to take in,” Amy Guzman said with a smile. “He just has so many great days ahead of him to look forward to.”

“It’s fun putting out fires,” Javi said.

He is a man of few words, but that is because he’s got a lot on his plate with a day full of duties as a firefighter.

However, there’s a deeper reason he looks up to these first responders.

“These are the firefighters that responded to his home when he had a fire,” Chief Piland said.

Months ago, the Guzman family suffered heartbreak after a house fire, but Javi was inspired by those who stepped in to help.

“We’ve really tried to embrace him, put our arms around him,” Chief Piland said.

Now, he’s a part of the brotherhood and was officially sworn in as a firefighter in a special ceremony.

As a part of his day as a firefighter, he also got to ride in a firetruck and get an exclusive tour of the firehouse.

All of his classmates got in on the fun and attended his ceremony.

Next, he faced an obstacle course and got to use the famous fire hose. Then, he climbed dozens of feet in the air on the engine ladder.

His mother says his bravery knows no limits. His biggest request was to take a ride in a helicopter, so Make-A-Wish made it happen.

Javi took a joy ride through the sky.

It is a day he will never forget, surrounded by a support system that will always have his back.

“When you have that you just feel like you can get through some really tough times,” Amy Guzman said, fighting back tears.

Make-A-Wish is in need of volunteers. If you want to help kids like Javi, click here.