NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Four-year-old Christian Reynoso was just diagnosed with leukemia last week, and his passion for firefighting has inspired firefighters from across the globe to help support him.
“When one of our members are down, we’re right there,” said Branford Fire Capt. Joseph Petrosino.
“I had no idea that the community of firefighters and firehouses were so tight knit,” said Christian’s mother, Katherine Annunziato.
A couple of weeks ago, the Hamden family noticed pain in his foot and that he had fevers.
“The doctors thought he just had a viral infection, but blood work showed he actually had leukemia,” said Annunziato.
The diagnosis came Thursday and on Friday Capt. Petrosino heard about it, so he responded with a picture of their new engine.
“To say, ‘Hey this is what we’re doing and when you get better you can come and see it,’” said Petrosino.
He thought others could do the same so he created a Facebook page called “Fire trucks for Christian.” By Monday, it boasted 5,000 likes and posts reached over 70,000 people from across the state, the country, and even in Europe.
“It’s mind-blowing,” said Petrosino.
Departments sent shirts and wrote his name on their daily roster.
“It’s funny because he’s afraid of heights and he was one of the roof guys on the trucks in New Haven,” said Annunziato. “It really does help when he has tough moments, we can sit and look at the pictures and it kind takes him out of being sick at the hospital.”
“In such a down time, if it brings a smile to his face, that’s all we were looking for,” Petrosino said.
This is just the beginning of the battle. Christian has six more months of intense chemotherapy treatment.