Girl, 9, with cancer becomes honorary firefighter

Keira Stout was presented with personalized turnout gear, a badge and a purple helmet


By FireRescue1 Staff

O’FALLON, Mo. — A 9-year-old battling a rare form of cancer became an honorary firefighter Monday. 

Keira Stout was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma two years ago; she was in remission until May 2016, when her cancer returned. 

O’Fallon firefighter Tom Vogelgesang met Keira about a year ago, and the two quickly forged a friendship. Thanks to Vogelgesang’s efforts, Keira became a member of the O’Fallon Fire Protection District.

“I love the O’Fallon Fire Department because they are so nice and I like that they help fight fires and, um, I just love it,” Keira told FOX

She was given her own personalized turnout gear, a badge and a purple helmet. 

“Her resiliency as a child to go through everything she has gone through in the past two years since she has had this cancer is just incredible,” Vogelgesang said. “If I’m having a bad day I can look at a picture of her and think about what she’s been through and my day is not so bad after all.”

Vogelgesang is growing out his hair to shave his head with Keira. He plans to donate his hair to raise money for children with cancer.

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