Fire Trucks for Christian Cheers Up Boy, 4, With Leukemia

Firefighters are known for banding together during times of adversity. Now, they are turning to Facebook to help one of their biggest fans overcome a life-threatening disease.

4-year-old Christian Reynoso is learning to drive. A motorized mini jeep is the latest gift the Hamden toddler has received as he fights leukemia.

“And it just made his entire day yesterday,” Christian’s mother Kate Annunziato said, “I don’t think I’ve seen him with more energy since when he got that.”

Annunziato’s son has always loved firefighters.

“Whenever we go past the fire house, he just wants to look in and whenever we see firefighters in the grocery store he wants to say hi,” she said.

After learning about Christian’s diagnosis in August, Branford Fire Captain Joe Petrosino snapped a photo of his department’s brand new fire truck. He posted it to Facebook, creating the Fire Trucks for Christian page.

“The reason for starting it was while he was having his treatments that he can just scroll through and if it makes him happy for 10 minutes, it was worth it,” Capt. Petrosino said.

Within weeks, the Facebook community page has nearly 7,300 likes.

“I thought that it would be Branford, Guilford and New Haven,” he said, “never thought it would go worldwide.”

But Capt. Petrosino stopped counting at 1,500 pictures.

Now, browsing through all these photos of fire trucks from across Connecticut, the country and the world is something Christian can look forward to each day during his aggressive chemotherapy for the next seven months.

“We try to look at them at night when it is time to go bed and I’ll tell him what state,” Annunziato said, “and I don’t think he fully understands how far away these trucks are coming from but it is amazing.”

This Saturday there is a fundraiser and raffle for Christian from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Regal Beagle at 422 State St. in New Haven.

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