Firemen bring holiday cheer to ill North Pole boy

Seven-year-old Aiden Reeves is escorted from his home to waiting fire engines by Santa, the North Star Volunteer Fire Department's A shift and members of the North Pole Fire Department on Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 in North Pole, Alaska. Reeves, who has cancer, wants to be a firefighter. He has wanted to visit the department but has been to sick to do so. So with lights and sirens on the crews came to his home. (AP Photo / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sam Harrel)

FAIRBANKS — Blinking lights shined all the way down Vicky Lane in North Pole on Monday. The two fire engines’ and ambulance’s red and white lights flickered away, probably causing alarm for some neighbors, but this time, their purpose was only for fun.


Aiden Reeves, 7, had more than a dozen visitors at his home, and they were all dressed in uniform.

Reeves was diagnosed with nephroblastoma or Wilms tumor in 2009. It began in his kidney and tumors spread all over his abdomen and in his lungs, and they threatened paralysis in his vertebrate. After many treatments, he was in remission. This summer though, the cancer relapsed and was found in his lungs.

“Which is the worst spot it could come back,” said Heather Reeves, his mom.

She said he has more treatments in his future, but the family isn’t sure which route the doctors will take.

Heather tries to make sure Aiden gets to enjoy extracurricular activities all the same. He is enrolled in hip hop dance, swimming and karate lessons.

He has been homeschooled since his diagnosis, and Heather said she still tries to get him out on field trips. In 2009, she wanted to take him to the fire station because he was interested in becoming a firefighter.

“He’s into anything in a uniform,” she said.

Heather said Aiden has told her, “I want to be a fireman, Army man, policeman.”

She never got to take him on his field trip because of his sickness and treatments. In November, though, she met Kyle Green, the fire prevention officer for the North Pole Fire Department.

Green arranged for a visit to the Reeves’ home the day after Christmas.

“He’s been wanting to see the fire department but he hasn’t been able to because he’s sick,” Green said. “So we figured we’d bring it to him.”

Aiden was led outside to the enormous vehicles, dressed in winter gear. They invited him and Heather aboard the North Star Volunteer Fire Department Engine 39 for a quick ride. Sirens blaring, they rounded the block. Then he boarded the ambulance without his mom and rounded the block in it.

Heather said though he was shy and quiet for the rides, he enjoyed them immensely.

The firefighters gathered around Aiden as Santa Claus — North Pole City Council member Bryce Ward — reached into his red sack. He pulled out a snowskate, a board made for skating down snow hills.

Aiden, wrapped with a blanket on top of his outdoor clothes for extra warmth, listened as Ward offered the present and wished him the happiest year.

Then Aiden walked right into the arms of Santa for a lasting hug.


Information from: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,


  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback






Fri, 04/20/2018 - 06:38

Standalone education budget confirmed

Alaska lawmakers confirmed the state’s $1.2B education budget.

Read more