Cancer is a long and hard battle, especially for children. They need all the support they can get, and that’s exactly what this 9-year-old boy from Warwick received in abundance earlier this week.
Cal arrived at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence in style as a team of police officers and firefighters escorted him going to the facility.
So what was the special occasion?
Apparently, it was a pretty huge day for Cal – it was his last day of cancer treatment!
And to celebrate the momentous occasion, a statewide police and fire effort called Enzo’s Escorts accompanied the boy going to the hospital.
The Warwick, Bristol, Cranston, Portsmouth, Woonsocket Police Departments, and the Cranston Fire Department comprised the whole escort.
A dozen police motorcycles, two police horses, a fire truck, cruisers, and a fire truck were part of the caravan that took Route 95—which was closed for a while—as they made their way to Warwick.
They also brought him home in the same fashion after the treatment was done.
David Neri, a Cranston firefighter, and his wife, Rebekah, are the brains behind Enzo’s Escorts.
Their eight-year-old son, Lorenzo, battled leukemia for almost three years. When the boy had his final treatment at Hasbro in April, the family wanted to make a special occasion out of it.
“It’s a long road,” David said.
While the hospital staff was great at celebrating a child’s last chemotherapy session, David and Rebekah wanted to do more for Lorenzo.
“My wife and I are big celebratory people. We celebrate everything,” David said.
Throughout their son’s battle, their fellow officers and firefighters gave them the support they needed. And when the time came to mark Lorenzo’s big day, the squad delivered: they escorted Lorenzo and his family to and from his final treatment.
While David was accustomed to this familiar scene—riding in fire trucks, lights flashing, and sirens wailing—riding with an escort for such a purpose gave him a unique and pleasant feeling.
“It was really, really nice. Why can’t other kids have this?” Neri recalled thinking to himself.
Cal wasn’t a stranger to the Neris as he had undergone treatment with Lorenzo. Having shared similar experiences, the two families have become acquainted with each other. So, David and Rebekah thought of giving Cal the same special escort that Lorenzo experienced during his last day.
“Cal was six months behind us,” David shared. “We kind of went through it together.”
“A kid should feel like it’s his first day at Disney World when he walks out that door,” he added.
Most of the police officers and firefighters who took part volunteered their time – all in the name of making Cal feel loved.
The Warwick Police Department shared the event on its official Facebook page. So far, the post has earned 2.3K reactions and 305 shares.
Many people in the comments expressed their gratitude to the police and firefighters for participating in this project. They also sent Cal their best wishes.
“Congratulations Cal! Also this is more great news to hear of our police and fire doing great things for the community.” Steve DiPalma wrote.
“This is beyond awesome! Best wishes to Cal and bravo to all the Fire and Police Departments who participated,” said Paula Beadles O’Neil.
“How wonderful, Cal! Glad to hear you’re done! What a special, great program the police depts. are doing for these brave kids!” commented Gae Turcotte Palazzo.
Cal won’t be the last recipient of this wonderful initiative as the Neri’s are looking to expand offer Enzo’s Escorts to families of other children with cancer. The police and fire departments in their hometown will be invited to participate.
Indeed, great things can be accomplished when a community works towards achieving a common goal! Share this story with your friends and family.