This Boy With Cystic Fibrosis Got His Wish: Becoming a Garbage Man for a Day
Lifestyle| | By Valerie Cools
Some kids dream about becoming firefighters or police officers. Six-year-old Ethan Dean’s dream is to grow up to be a garbage man and help clean up the city.
On Tuesday, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Dean lived his dream for a day, when he got to ride in a garbage truck following a special route, and help collect and recycle trash from the streets of Sacramento, California.
Dean was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was only a few weeks old. This incurable genetic condition causes sometimes severe respiratory and digestive problems. In February, he visited Make-A-Wish, and it wasn’t hard for their team to figure out what he was passionate about: Jennifer Stolo, CEO of Make-A-Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada, told the Associated Press that most of his answers to their questions were about garbage collection.
“He has multiple garbage truck toys and watches a YouTube video of trucks for hours,” Stolo told the Huffington Post.
Dean’s father also confirmed that his son has loved garbage trucks since he was a toddler. So imagine how happy he was when he got to ride in one that had a sign reading “Ethan’s Garbage Truck!”
The event was broadcast across social media with the hashtag #EthanCleansUp. A hundred people showed up to welcome Dean as he made his first stop in his truck, wearing a bright safety t-shirt and a green cape that said “Hero Ethan.” Many more showed up to cheer for him along the way, carrying signs. Notable fans included the Sacramento Kings dancers, and officers from the Sacramento Police Department, who escorted Dean on their motorcycles.
“It means the world,” his mother told KCRA. “I can’t believe so many people care so much to come out and support him.”
At the end of the route, Dean was congratulated in front of the state capitol by the city’s Mayor-elect and the Police Chief, for doing such a great job of keeping the city clean.
As for the hero of the day, he declared his time spent taking the trash off the streets was the “best day ever.”