Shelton grew up around the local fire and police departments in his hometown in Alabama. He goes to the fire stations daily, even after regular visits to New York for chemotherapy, just to see his “brothers and sisters.” To these departments, Shelton is a part of the family.
Shelton, 15, has a deep appreciation for first responders. Although 9/11 occurred before he was born, he has been inspired by their bravery and comradery on that tragic day. He makes sure to watch 9/11 memorials every year.
It only seemed fitting that Shelton wished to meet the first responders of 9/11. As part of his wish, Shelton was sworn in as an honorary FDNY firefighter during his wish. He was given a fire department uniform, badge, T-shirts and more. He met the New York City fire commissioner and traveled to a fire station for first responder training. He also had a chance to visit to the 9/11 Memorial.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better wish for Shelton,” said his mom, Robby. “If every parent sees their kid just living in the moment, and not worried about going to the hospital, getting chemo or getting bloodwork, it’s just a great feeling.”
Shelton said that having his wish granted and meeting people who care so much for him means the world to him, especially through his battle with cancer. “Kids like me, we don’t ask for much. For y’all to make our wish[es] come true, it means a lot to all of us kids,” Shelton said.