Tyler is fighting leukemia for the second time.
So his mom put out a plea for first responders across the country to send cards for Tyler's birthday.
But local officials took it a step further and wanted to plan a day of surprises and John Straseskie with the Virginia Beach Fire Department just had to make the 10-hour trip to be part of the celebration.
“I really felt led to help at that point, and when I read a little bit further and I saw that we share the same birthday; it was a no brainer. I was going to make a road trip to Rhode Island,” says Straseskie.
“You get called to go and called to serve. You don't always know why and it’s not always going to be convenient for you. You just have to go,” he says.
Before the journey, he took action to bring gifts from family and friends including a gift from a retired district chief who is also a cancer survivor.
Tyler was made chief of police for the day and the family's house is just filling up with gifts and wishes of support from across the country.