He was a little shy at first, but it only took 3-year-old Amari Kalu a few minutes to find his groove and his smile Tuesday morning as he sat behind the wheel of a Greer Fire engine.
Amari, the son of Greenville County Deputy Jacob Kalu, was diagnosed with leukemia on March 8.
"We had planned before we found out about his diagnosis to go to Touch-a-Truck tonight but once we found out he had leukemia we knew he couldn't be in public," said Danielle Kalu, Amari's mother.
Greer Station's Touch A Truck event, scheduled for Tuesday night, just happened to land on Amari's 3rd Birthday.
Greer CPW caught wind of the Kalu family's story and partnered with Lake Cunningham Fire, Greer Fire and Greer Police to bring the party to Amari.
"That's why we do what we do. See the child having a good time, brighten up his day a little bit, that's the least we can do. I can only imagine what the parents are going through," said Sgt. Jeff Smith, Greer Police.
Outside of the hospital, home with his mom and dad as well as his 5-month-old sister Michal, Danielle said the entire family is adjusting to the new normal.
"We're kind of taking it one day at a time. We're having to learn to be more flexible... But it's just nice to be home in our own place, hopefully we can stay here and keep up with the treatments as regular and not have to have too many hospital stays," said Danielle.
On Tuesday though, the little superhero wasn't thinking about the long battle he's got ahead, instead he just enjoyed his special ride.
"The little times where he had a smile on his face, that just cheers up my heart and makes me happy," said Danielle.
For the next three weeks, the Kalu's said Amari will undergo weekly treatments and then doctors will reassess from there. They anticipate full treatment could take about three years.
To learn more about fundraisers happening for Amari, check out FOX Carolina's previous coverage.
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