For a sick Rhode Island boy, his only birthday wish is to receive cards and photos of his heroes, and Clarksville firefighters and police officers are helping that wish come true.
Tyler Seddon, 6, is battling a second round of leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant, but his family is having a hard time finding a matching donor.
Seddon looks up to the people who drive fire trucks and police cars, the men and women who dedicate their lives to helping people. When he grows up, he wants to be a first responder.
"I think that says a lot about him, as far as how important we are to children," said officer Natalie Hall, spokesperson for the Clarksville Police Department.
On Wednesday, Hall chatted over the Internet with inspector Craig Sroka with the East Providence, Rhode Island police department.
She showed him a photograph of police and firefighters that was taken especially for Tyler on Tuesday.
"I've been getting calls from Kentucky, from you guys, the Ukraine, from England," Sroka told Hall.
"Today alone, the mail service received 480 packages and they had to designate a specific truck just for him," Sroka said.
The story was first reported by PoliceOne.com, a Web site devoted to police officers around the country. A Clarksville detective read the story and suggested Clarksville police get involved. Firefighters also joined the effort.
Clarksville police will send the photograph, an official police department patch and police chief coins. Clarksville fire is sending a hat, t-shirt, stickers and a certificate naming Tyler as an honorary member of Clarksville Fire and Rescue.
"He knows it's his birthday, he's six-years-old and will be seven, he knows something is going on, but he has no idea the magnitude that's going to unfold on his birthday," Sroka said.
He continued, "Unfortunately, he's in the hospital right now. He had an infection and unfortunately also after his birthday, the day after he's going to have to go back to the hospital."
A group of supporters calling themselves Tyler's Troops have rallied, creating a Facebook page and accepting donations for his treatment through the crowd funding Web site GoFundMe.com.
So far the group has raised more than $13,000 for Seddon in just three months.
Tyler's birthday party, which has grown to include a parade and convoy of first responders will be livestreamed on March 6th.
Sroka said they have 200 police cars from all over the country entered into the parade.