Cancer survivor honored by fire department staff with ziti dinner
Ray “Super Ray” McPadden, an 11 year-old honorary member of the Huntington volunteer fire department, beat Cancer and was celebrated on Sept. 11 with a ziti dinner/fundraiser for winning the battle.
McPadden’s fight with Cancer was an emotional and draining one, but the time he spends with his extended family at the firehouse always helped put a smile on his face.
“It’s always exciting and a lot of fun,” said McPadden.
McPadden had clean positron emission tomography scans (PET) in March and June of last year and is now a healthy happy kid. PET scans are used to show how tissues and organs are working.
His family created a Gofundme account which raised almost $33,000 before no longer accepting donations and announcing that he has made a recovery.
The ziti dinner/fundraiser was an effort to give back to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Heather Rancourt was in attendance of the fundraiser and explained that McPadden’s mother, Marybeth wanted to give back to thank all of the people who donated and supported her son during his treatment.
“Raffle prizes were all donated by community businesses because we also wanted to showcase the local businesses in Shelton, Trumbull and Stratford,” said Rancourt. “This is such a good cause and we want to know that donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society can still be made.”
Donations to the cause can be made by visiting http://pages.teamintraining.org/ctwhv/hartford15/JR3
Vice President of Huntington Volunteer Fire Department, Christopher Del Buono said since McPadden became a part of the fire department’s tight knit family back in January it’s been nothing but good times and smiles.
Del Buono added that one of McPadden’s favorite things to do is to ride along in the truck through the city.
“We even stopped by Ray’s house a few times with the truck and just pulled in the driveway,” said Del Buono. “Seeing his smile and hearing him laugh makes everything worth it.”
McPadden said he never imagined the inside of the fire house being as “cool” as it is and has since thought about joining a fire department when he gets older.
“I haven’t gotten to try sliding down the fire pole, but I really want to,” said McPadden. “My favorite part about this whole experience has been getting to come to the firehouse whenever I want! If we’re not playing X-box then we play pool. It can get competitive sometimes.”
Captain Mattioli said he’s just as excited as McPadden is to have him be a part of the fire department’s family.
“We love seeing him up and running around having a good time,” said Mattioli. “It brings complete joy to our company having him be here. When we made him an honorary member we gave him some gear and I swear his face lit up. Everyday having him here is a joy.”