FAIR LAWN, N.J. — Jackson Walsh of Fair Lawn has spent the better part of his life fighting for it.
But the 15-month-old will celebrate his second Christmas cancer free — and the entire community got the festivities under way a little bit earlier than expected.
"I'm blown away," Jackson's mom, Tara Walsh, told Daily Voice, after Fair Lawn police officers, firefighters and residents surprised her family at her sister-in-law's house on Friday.
This whole journey has been mind-blowing.
"We follow a lot of families who are still going through what we went through," she added, "and they didn't have an eighth of the support that we do from the community."
The sixth annual event was organized by Human Services Coordinator Liz Twiggs, and Santa was played by Detective David Boone.
"This is the spirit of Christmas," Twiggs said.
This is what it's all about.
"We have kids involved, we have emergency services, council people — everyone gets involved and it's such a cool thing."
Last year's recipient Bearn Vargas, also cancer-free, rode along in the truck with tears in her eyes, remembering all her community did for her last year.
The Fair Lawn PBA raised money for Operation Santa Boone and donated a check worth more than $1,300 to the Walsh Family.
Baby Jackson and his family rode in the fire engine with Santa and Vargas, followed by a procession of police cars, to the Vanore House .