On March 17, the IAFF 4303 will take part in a fundraiser with a difference. The day is not only St Patrick's Day, but more importantly, Alex Cesar will celebrate his 7th birthday. The nephew of the IAFF's Captain Ed Quinto, Alex has recently been allowed to return home to his family after being diagnosed with AML Leukemia in April 2005.
In 2005, inspired by Alex's bravery, the Firefighters of Juneau and Ketchikan teamed up to help conduct the largest ever statewide bone marrow drive in Alaska. They found 1010 donors in 10 days, an incredible achievement, raising awareness to altogether new levels. Through their hard work, important Alaskan donors were found to help those battling the disease.
Since Alex's birthday falls on St Patrick's Day, the IAFF 4303 plans to make this an extra special day. Not only will they have a party in his honor, they will shave their heads to raise money for the St Baldrick's Foundation, a charity dedicated to raising money for children's cancer research. Little Alex has agreed to take a swipe at his Uncle's head and will cheer on the rest of the firefighters, men he knows well from being on the firetrucks during parades. His Aunt, Andrea Quinto said "I am very proud of my husband, the other guys, our community as well as our state for donating first their skills, blood and now their hair. It's a big deal for them, but like all firefighters, they will make it fun!"
Furthermore, word has spread and State Representative Carl Gatto has now enthusiastically signed up. It will certainly be a birthday party to remember.