NJ rally hosted for Declan Hegarty, 2, to honor his battle against cancer

Declan Hegarty, 2, was treated to a hero's parade on November 25 when local firefighters and emergency responders came together to show their support for the young cancer fighter.

Irish American Declan was only 5 months old when he and his family received the devastating news that he had Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

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For five months, Declan lived in the hospital receiving chemotherapy every day and even endured a bone marrow transplant when he was only 8 months old.

Like so many other young boys, Declan has an "immense love" for all things firetrucks. So much so that family friend Joe Caiazzo reached out to Ridgeway Leatherworks to have a custom leather radio strap made for Declan's second birthday.

Declan's radio strap from Ridgeway Leather

Declan's radio strap from Ridgeway Leather

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On Facebook, Ridgeway Leatherworks shared a post about Declan’s story, and that’s when national volunteer organization Pink Heals learned about Declan’s battle.

This strong little man. ❤ Declan was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia when he was 5 months old. He lived in the...

Publiée par Ridgeway Leatherworks sur Jeudi 1 novembre 2018

Pink Heals, an organization that works to raise cancer awareness and provide support to those affected, coordinated with the Hegarty’s local Lebanon Borough Fire Department to host the ‘Rally for Declan.’

Despite being put together in a little under two weeks, the Rally for Declan showed no shortage of support from neighboring communities.

"It started with five fire companies agreeing to come out and now we have about 50 companies," said Lebanon Fire Chief Kevin Saharic.

"When we heard about everything, we knew we had to help," he added.

More than 100 emergency vehicles, including a helicopter fly-over, were part of the procession to recognize Declan’s brave battle offer their solidarity. 

"They came up the street with their sirens on and Declan was looking out the window. He was so excited," said Declan's mother, Jessica Hegarty, after the parade.

Throughout the day, Declan received different pieces of custom firefighter equipment donated from the local fire departments and was even named an honorary firefighter as well.

Declan's firefighter gear (Jessica Hegarty)

Declan's firefighter gear (Jessica Hegarty)

"It's definitely something that we'll never forget," added Jessica.

Declan named as an honorary firefighter

Declan named as an honorary firefighter

As part of the Rally, people were asked to bring toys to donate to Tomorrow’s Children Fund which operates out of Hackensack University Medical Center. The Hegartys were thrilled to report that they received an “incredible” amount of donations, and will continue collecting until December 18.

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Afterward, Jessica shared a heartfelt post on Facebook thanking all those who volunteered at and attended the Rally for Declan.

I don’t even know how to begin... if I had one word to describe today it would be PERFECT. Simply perfect. First of...

Publiée par Jessica Hegarty sur Dimanche 25 novembre 2018

According to organizers, Declan "still has a long journey ahead, but he is a happy energetic and extremely loving boy and puts a smile on everyone's face. "

Watch some of The Rally for Declan here:

Declan Hegarty watches a firetruck at the Rally for DeclanJessica Hegarty, Facebook