Community Rallies to Bring 22 NYC Firefighters to Maui for TruckerMarch 12, 2017, 2:41 PM HST · Updated March 13, 7:01 AM Interview: Malika Dudley; Story: Wendy Osher; Video Edit: Marlo Antes · 0 Comments
In a private paddle out of family and close friends, flowers and prayers were scattered as a final farewell to 3-year-old Maui boy Trucker Dukes this morning at Hoʻokipa Beach Park on Maui.
Among those participating in the event were a group of 22 firefighters from New York City. Trucker had become part of their family while receiving treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of pediatric cancer. People near and far donated points, miles and made donations so the firefighters could travel to Maui and pay their respects.
Trucker, the son of Shauna Dukes and Maui firefighter Joshua Dukes, was sworn in as an Honorary FDNY and Maui firefighter during separate ceremonies last year.
“It is a firefighter brotherhood tradition to attend the Line of Duty funeral, doesn’t matter what department or state, you turn out out of respect. I knew the situation, that Trucker wasn’t doing good, and the idea of Trucker being so far from NYC, only money would stand in the way of FDNY Firefighters from attending his funeral,” said FF Dan Hamelburg, Bn-9 in a Facebook post on the NYC Fire Wire.
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.
In celebrating his life, family members said, “We love you little warrior. Run free in heaven with no pain, no tears, no suffering!”
Below, the community shared the lessons they’ve learned from this little warrior.