Update: Maui Boy Trucker Dukes Remembered as “Little Warrior”

March 10, 2017, 10:29 AM HST · Updated March 12, 8:12 AM
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Thousands of Maui residents and firefighters from across the country honored the life of 3-year old Trucker Dukes during a Celebration of Life at Hope Chapel in Kīhei today.

Dukes, the son of a Maui County firefighter, suffered from Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of pediatric cancer and lost his hard fought battle on March 3, 2017.

An estimated 3,000 people attended the celebration, filling the chapel and overflow areas outside where attendees watched the ceremony on large screens.

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    Celebration of Life for Trucker Dukes. Mauinow photo.

    Celebration of Life for Trucker Dukes. Mauinow photo.

    Trucker Dukes Celebration of Life procession. MauiNow photo.

    Trucker Duke Celebration of Life procession. MauiNow photo.

    Photos of Trucker at his Celebration of Life memorial at Hope Chapel in Kihei. MauiNow photo.

    Trucker Dukes Celebration of Life. MauiNow photo.

    Attendees pay their respects to Trucker Dukes family as they stand at their sons Celebration of Life memorial at the Hope Chapel in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    Maui firefighters gather together at the Trucker Dukes Celebration of Life memorial. MauiNow photo.

    Photos from the Trucker Dukes Celebration of Life memorial in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    Photos from the Trucker Dukes Celebration of Life memorial in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    Photos from the Trucker Dukes Celebration of Life memorial in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    Photos from the Trucker Dukes Celebration of Life memorial in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    Overflow from the Trucker Dukes Celebration of Life memorial at Hope Chapel in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    Overflow from the Trucker Dukes Celebration of Life memorial at Hope Chapel in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    New York City firefighters in attendance at the Trucker Dukes “Celebration of Life” memorial in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    Trucker Dukes “Celebration of Life” from Hope Chapel in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    Trucker Dukes “Celebration of Life” from Hope Chapel in Kīhei. MauiNow photo.

    Doors to Hope Chapel will open at 10:30 a.m. Video monitors have been set up in various places outside to accommodate an overflow crowd. MauiNow photo.

    Firefighters from New York City, Canada and Australia are expected to attend the service today. MauiNow photo.

    “Trucker’s dad is a firefighter and—like father, like son—Trucker loved firetrucks. When Trucker went to New York for treatment, the New York Fire Department coordinated a very special 3rd birthday party celebration, and swore him in as an honorary firefighter,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said yesterday on the House floor in memory of Trucker Dukes. MauiNow photo.

    Maui residents and firefighters line up at Hope Chapel in Kīhei to pay their respects to Trucker Dukes and family in a “Celebration of Life,” memorial. MauiNow photo.

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    The two-hour long service began at 11 a.m. and was followed by a private viewing for the boy’s family. A live stream was available as thousands more watched to bid a hui hou to the young warrior who served as a source of inspiration to many.

    During the celebration it was announced that Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa proclaimed this week, March 10-16, 2017 as Trucker Dukes week.

    In remembering Trucker, family members said, “We are going to honor him and live our lives as better dads, moms, siblings, husbands, wives and people of God…”

    An outpouring of love and support from the Maui community was shown throughout the ceremony, churches across the island donated chairs, tents and tables and Lowe’s also provided water for the celebration.

    “What this tiny little boy has been able to do is to bring everyone together and it didn’t matter if we were asked yesterday or whenever, we were all there and the community just pulled together. It really is because we love each other but I think our strength comes from both Shauna and Josh and the way they’ve allowed everybody in the community to be a part of their journey in the good times and the hard times as well,” resident Henohea Kane said.

    “As a community in times like this, we naturally pull together and come together to support each other,” Maui resident Brandee Carvalho said.

    Trucker passed away on Friday morning, March 3, 2017 in the arms of his mother.

    Trucker Dukes was first diagnosed with the rare and aggressive cancer in November of 2013. After two years of treatment, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation and surgical tumor removal in his abdomen and brain, Trucker went home to Maui.

    Over the course of his battle, many gathered in support as he touched hearts around the world. His strongest supporters say is legacy will live on through the millions that he inspired.

    “Trucker in his short life has inspired thousands of people and I think that gives testament to their family and how they raised him and how they will continue to inspire others,” Carriebeth Duncan said at the celebration.

    In a video posted in February, Shauna and Joshua said, “If there’s one thing, I hope it is that you love a little harder… a little better. Go home, stop the craziness in your life and just kiss your loved ones more, tell them you love them more. None of us are promised tomorrow.”

    “The Dukes have really encouraged me to live everyday as it is your last, and to love harder and let go of the crazy, because life is precious, it is a gift,” resident Bridgett Parker said.

    Family members said: “We love you little warrior. Run free in heaven with no pain, no tears, no suffering!”

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