Toddler with leukemia honoured by Vancouver Fire Rescue Services
VANCOUVER – Two young members of a B.C. family were honoured during a special ceremony by Vancouver Fire Rescue Services on Monday.
Two-year-old Finnley and his sister Mayelle were guests of honour at the fifth annual Fire Chief's Civilian Commendations Ceremony. The event aims to recognize members of the community who exhibit bravery and put others before themselves.
The siblings and their parents, Jordan and Jennell Stanley, had already met some of the firefighters after their car burst into flames on Nov. 8. The family from Armstrong, B.C. had to move into Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver over the summer as Finnley received treatment for leukemia. The family was on their way back from Deep Cove when their vehicle died. It later burst into flames as they waited for a tow truck. The ceremony recognized both children for their courage in the challenging situation.
"Bravery is not charging into a burning house. Bravery is doing what is right while part of your brain screams to turn around, or to face adversity that isn't fair or easy, with fortitude and more concern for those around you than for yourself," said Vancouver Fire Rescue Services spokesperson Jonathan Gormick. "Finnley and Mayelle Stanley are facing displacement from their homes. New surroundings, new people, and all while navigating the incredible stress of an intense medical treatment."
Gormick also praised five-year-old Mayelle for supporting her parents throughout the ordeal.
"Mayelle, you floored me. You may not grasp the impact of your resilience while you and your family support Finnley, but what you're doing for your mom and dad is incredible and allows them to focus on the countless things affecting their lives right now," he said.
Gormick said they were both being recognized for their "incredible bravery."
"I think it was really awesome that they acknowledged not only Finnley's bravery going through it but Mayelle's bravery helping him get through it," said Jordan.
Most of the items inside the vehicle during the fire were destroyed, so Vancouver firefighters later invited the family to the station for dinner and replaced some of the burned toys.
"Any small gesture that seems insignificant to you can make a huge impact in someone else's life," Gormick said last week about the incident. "I can't imagine the stress they're going through right now. To see them pull through with a positive attitude and be in good spirits is inspiring."
With files from CTV Vancouver's Allison Hurst