A new program through the Oak Lawn Fire Department Project Buddies aims to improve the quality of life for local children with serious illness. It began with the Oak Forest Fire Department and the Oak Lawn Fire Department recently joined the organization. Sward Kindergartener, AJ Blaszczyk, who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia is Oak Lawn’s first Fire Buddy.
“AJ will be the OLFD’s first fire buddy. He doesn’t have any duties as this is a support organization for kids like AJ. His only job is to be a kid and enjoy a special relationship with a firefighter in our community,” said his mom, Jennifer.
AJ’s treatment has been a long road, but he was finally put on maintenance and cleared to attend Kindergarten in March when COVID-19 forced schools to go fully remote. Firefighters surprised AJ at his house with fire trucks, sirens, gifts, and even a few Star Wars characters to welcome him to the department.