Michigan 4-year-old’s Make-A-Wish dream ignites with heartwarming support from St. Clair Shores fire fighters

January 11 • 2024

In a heartwarming act of kindness, 4-year-old Jayce, a resilient Michigan native who battled kidney disease and recently underwent a life-changing transplant, saw his dream of becoming a fire fighter come to life thanks to the collaborative efforts of St. Clair Shores, MI Local 1744 members and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

Local 1744 fire fighters with 4-year-old Jayce.

Jayce, born with kidney disease, faced the challenges of dialysis from a very young age. Two years after Jayce’s vital kidney transplant, his dream was revealed at the Wish Ball Detroit, where he received a surprise call to report to duty at the St. Clair Shores Fire Department. 

“It’s heartwarming to see our community come together to make a child’s dream come true,” said Local 1744 President Chad Hyvonen. “The fire chief gave me full approval to do whatever we wanted, and you know fire fighters, if we can make a kid smile, alright, let’s do it. We did everything we could.” 

The fire fighters orchestrated a special day tailored to Jayce’s dreams, featuring a thrilling fire truck ride, an open burnout, a room filled with smoke for a simulated search and rescue, lunch with the crew, and a heartfelt “fire fighter oath” administered by the chief. 

“Him going through all of the things he’s been through, for him to even be able to enjoy it, it’s a blessing in itself,” said Jayce’s mother, Brittnei, in a touching video posted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

“The team at the St. Clair Shores Fire Department were incredible to partner with to make 4-year-old Jayce’s wish come true. As soon as they learned of his wish to be a fire fighter, they immediately jumped into action to create an extraordinary experience for him,” said Mandy Gove, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with Make-A-Wish Michigan.  

Jayce rides in the St. Clair Shores fire truck.

In the spirit of spreading warmth and kindness, Jayce’s story serves as a beacon, illustrating the incredible impact a community can have on a child’s dreams.  

“All fire fighters are immediately drawn to a child’s laughter. We are surrounded by things that are negative day in and day out, and any chance we have to make a child smile, especially to the level of that, we’re going to jump at that chance,” said Hyvonen.  

“They gave Jayce more than a day he’ll always remember; they gave him a dream to hold onto as he experienced the joy, hope, and strength that comes from the power of a wish,” said Gove. 

The Make-A-Wish Foundation, dedicated to granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, played a crucial role in bringing Jayce’s dream to fruition. To learn more about Jayce’s wish, visit the link here