PITTSFIELD, Mass. – A seven-year-old boy got Happy Birthday wishes from first responders all over the world, and nine departments from Berkshire County took part.
Tyler Seddon of Rhode Island is battling leukemia for the second time. His heroes are first responders, so his mom asked her local police department to send her son a birthday card. The request went viral, and Tyler received a surprise of a lifetime.
“Honestly, I think the whole world needs to see something positive in the news, and I'm glad that we're part of it,” Tyler's mom, Rachel, said.
Berkshire County Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Grady said his police department got an e-mail asking to help make Tyler's birthday special.
“These people didn't ask for donations. They didn't ask for gifts,” he said. “They simply asked if we could send cards.
When agencies across the country and around the world learned of his wish, they did a little more than send a card.
“Agencies from California, Australia, Nova Scotia – reaching out to them to see what they could do,” Grady said.
Tyler's birthday was fit for a king. He had a parade of more than 200 vehicles. He was made honorary police chief for a day, fire chief for a day, attorney general for a day, and even governor for a day.
“This little kid at seven-years-old probably had more power than anyone in the world today,” Grady said.
Tyler paraded around town, took pictures with some of our local heroes, and got more gifts than a boy could dream of.
“My house is full of boxes,” his mom said. “We have a 10×20 storage unit that's half full, so we'll have a lot of presents to go through probably until his next birthday.”
Grady said the entire room broke out in a song of Happy Birthday for the boy.
“It's kind of interesting to see a room with a bunch of cops singing Happy Birthday, but it was heartwarming,” he said.
Grady said getting to see Tyler happy brought a tear to many of the first responders at the party and helped to renew his faith in humanity.
“Who else could bring this type of response together?” he asked. “A seven-year-old boy.”
The local departments who participated in Tyler's special day are: Cheshire Police and Fire Departments, Lanesborough Police and Fire Departments, Berkshire County Sheriff's Department, Pittsfield Police Department, Sheffield Police Department, Lenox Police Department and Monterey Police Department.
They gave Tyler their police and fire badges as well as toys and clothes.