CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) — A dream--over a year in the making. Timmy Richardson, 17, was sworn in for a day as an FDNY firefighter, visiting Engine 21 and paying his respects to those that lost their lives on 9/11 all through Make a Wish last week.
"The way the FDNY opened up their doors and let us in were truly like a second family, that was probably the best thing," Timmy said. He was born 11 days after the terrorist attacks in 2001.
"I really didn't understand until I got older and I really wanted to pay my respects."
When he was 16--Timmy was diagnosed with T-cell Leukemia. "When it finally hit it was like alright, well now is the time to fight. We know what we're battling, let's get to it."
The fire explorer with Hy-View Fire Company found his support through the firefighter brotherhood. Thousands of shirts from fire companies across the world were sent to Timmy to show support.
"He was very, very sick. You could say he was in a coma because of all the meds he was on. He was just sleeping 24/7 because of the pain he was in," his sister, Michelle, said.
Radiation, chemo and a bone marrow transplant all led to this--ringing the bell at Roswell. Timmy rang the bell exactly one year to the day of his transplant and the same week as his Make a Wish trip. He's now cancer free and off of all medications.
"He kicked cancer's butt," Michelle said. Timmy added, "It really changed my outlook on life and you have to live every day to the fullest and you can't be afraid to do things because you never know when it'll be your last day."
Timmy's next chapter includes graduating high school and plans to go to trade school. He'll also soon be one step closer to fulfilling his dream of becoming a firefighter with his 18th birthday around the corner. In October, he'll join both his father and sister in the ranks at U-Crest.
"To be able to get on a rig with him and my sister on it and go and save someone's life or just be there for someone on their worst day...it's one of my dreams to do that. It'll be like off my bucket list type thing."