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First responders with Project Fire Buddies bring $12,000 in gifts for Markham boy suffering from cancer

Project Fire Buddies brings $12,000 in gifts for Markham boy suffering from cancer
Project Fire Buddies brings $12,000 in gifts for Markham boy suffering from cancer 02:01

MARKHAM, Ill. (CBS) -- Friday afternoon was really special for a young boy battling cancer in south suburban Markham.

Hoping for a moment of bliss, first responders showed up with tons of presents for the 9-year-old boy.

As CBS 2's Asal Rezaei reported, Kasey Douglas waved at the lights and sirens as emergency vehicles came down his street. What he didn't know was that they were headed straight for his house.

The first responders had up to $12,000 in presents – just for Kasey.

"I'm trying not to cry right now," said Kasey's dad, Horace Douglas. "The smile says it all right here for Kasey."

At 9 years old, Kasey has already been through so much. In the last six years, he has had three liver transplants – and he also has cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and now suffers from hearing loss from years of medication and treatments.

This year, Kasey got another crushing diagnosis – lymphoma.

"The hospital had given Kasey like 48 hours to live - because it was the second liver," said Horace Douglas. "But the liver - the veins kept going and going, and Kasey kept fighting. He never gave up."

Now, Project Fire Buddies is stepping in to help with that fight – first with some toys, and then a flat screen TV; some new, comfy couches; and even a chance to get behind the wheel of a fire truck.

Project Fire Buddies says this is the first time they had this big of an operation, teaming up with the Markham Fire Department, City Council and Mayor's office to make this happen for Kasey.

"When we turn our lights and sirens on, we're usually approaching people at the worst day of their life," said Kurt DeGroot, chief executive officer of Project Fire Buddies. "This time, we get to turn those lights and sirens on - and we're greeted with smiles."

The smiles are priceless for the volunteer first responders – and they make a world of difference for a fighter like Kasey.

Kasey Douglas with his family and Markham first responders. CBS 2

"It's something we really needed," said Horace Douglas.

The Chicago Bears also gave Kasey three tickets so he and his family will see the team play Sept. 11.

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