Fire engine wish comes true for boy with cancer

June 2012

House: Birmingham Children’s

A boy who is being treated for cancer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital had his wishes come true when he was visited by a fire engine and crew.

Jay Hitchins, seven, had the chance to sit in the front of a fire engine, sound the horn and was even taken for a drive when the crew of Aston Fire Station visited him at Ronald McDonald House Birmingham on Thursday 28 June. Jay, from Malvern in Worcestershire, is currently undergoing treatment for neuroblastoma at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the visit was arranged by staff from the House as a special present.

Staci Grant is Senior Administrator at Ronald McDonald House Birmingham, a ‘home away from home’ which enables families to stay close to their seriously ill children in hospital.. She says: “Jay’s mum Kelly got some sad news about Jay and she told me about how he had always wanted to go on a fire engine. With everything that he has been going through it was an easy request to meet and straight away West Midlands Fire Service said they were happy to help, which was brilliant.”

Jay, who also has severe autism, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a cancer which develops in nerve cells - in January 2011. Since then he has undergone three rounds of chemotherapy and, more recently, radiotherapy. His mum Kelly Hitchins, 32, says he was so happy with the visit that he didn’t want to leave the fire engine.

She says: “When it first arrived he was really overwhelmed because he hadn’t been that close to a fire engine before. Once he went inside he didn’t want to get out and kept putting his seat belt back on! The crew took him for a ride in the engine and they also gave him presents including a little fireman’s outfit.

“I will never be able to thank Ronald McDonald House Birmingham and West Midlands Fire Service enough for what they have done for Jay.”

To find out more about Ronald McDonald House Charities please visit

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For more information please contact:
Luke Bishop T: 020 7240 4646 M: 0741 1165 197 E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Notes to editors:

1. Kelly Hitchins is available for interview. Contact Luke Bishop on the number above.

2. Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is an independent Charity which provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation at hospitals and hospices across the UK. It enables seriously ill children to have their families close by when they are undergoing treatment and allows them to maintain a degree of normal family life.

3. Since 1989 the Charity has opened 15 Ronald McDonald Houses which, together with over 25 sets of Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, provide more than 450 bedrooms to families every night of the year.

4. The Charity relies on the generosity of supporters and fundraisers, including McDonald’s customers, without whom it would be unable to continue its work. Ronald McDonald House Charities has been McDonald’s charity of choice since 1989.

5. Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) believes that every child has the right to have their parents close by when they are in hospital.

6. Photographs must be credited to Paul Thomas Photography.

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