A Wigan youngster who is battling an aggressive form of cancer had the experience of a lifetime this week when he was given the chance to be a firefighter for the day.
Theo Hamilton, from Up Holland, had a memorable day out when he went to visit a team of his real-life heroes at Oldham fire station. The four-year-old has been undergoing relentless treatment after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Since September Theo and his family have travelled back and forth to Manchester, where he is receiving chemotherapy.
At a recent 10k event in Manchester, Theo’s mum Katt Hamilton met Oldham firefighter Aaron Parmar, who heard about Theo’s battle and invited him for a day out with the crew.
This weekend, Theo’s dream became a reality when he donned his own firefighter’s uniform and learnt how to use a hose reel.
The miniature hero climbed a ladder, went up on the crew’s aerial platform and even slid down the fireman’s pole on the back of his new team member.
Katt, who joined Theo for the day, said: “Theo’s smile said it all. It was all down to Greater Manchester Fire service and Rescue Service.
“I really want to say a massive thank you to the white watch who went above and beyond to make his day extra special and a huge thanks to Aaron who we met at the Manchester 10k run.
“We managed to stay in touch and he promised Theo an unforgettable day, and boy did he deliver.
“I think it’s a day not only will Theo not forget but neither will we, It was absolutely amazing”
The mum-of-three, who is in the process of launching her own charity to help other children with long-term illnesses, praised the firefighters’ kindness.
“Aaron and all the lads on shift that day couldn’t do enough for Theo,” added Katt.
“I thought he would be a bit scared to do it but he felt so at ease with all the lads as soon as we walked in.
“It was great, we all loved every minute of it.”
Theo also made an impression on the crew, who have invited him back for another visit in the future.
Aaron, who has already made headlines by running 22 10k race in memory of the 22 victims of the Manchester bomb, took to Twitter calling Theo a “superstar” and an “absolute trooper”. Oldham station manager, Tony Morgan was also thrilled with the visit.
He said: “At the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service we work hard to educate and inform children about the dangers of fire from a young age, therefore helping them to develop lifelong fire and water safe behaviour.
“I would like to say a big thank you to Aaron and the rest of the team at Oldham Community Fire Station for organising such a fantastic and memorable experience for Theo.”