6-Year-Old's Wish Granted: to Be a Garbage Man

Make-A-Wish helps little boy obsessed with garbage trucks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 27, 2016 12:19 PM CDT
6-Year-Old's Wish Granted: to Be a Garbage Man
Six-year-old Ethan Dean, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at two weeks old, rides in a waste truck as his wish to be a garbage man come true for a day in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.   (Eli Hiller)

Ethan Dean lived his dream on Tuesday. The 6-year-old has a garbage truck bedspread and pillow. He has garbage truck toys. He's had a garbage truck birthday party. Now, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he got to experience what it's like to be a garbage truck driver. The boy, who has cystic fibrosis, rode in a real garbage truck through downtown Sacramento, collecting trash and recyclables, just like he's always wanted. At his first stop in Sacramento, he was greeted by a crowd of more than 100 people at the Sacramento Bee. Wearing a cape that said "Hero Ethan" and a big smile, the boy was enthusiastic and surprised. Later, when asked his favorite part of the day so far, he said it was "cleaning up garbage," the AP reports.

When Ethan visited the Make-A-Wish Foundation in February, he was asked a series of questions: What do you want to be? Who do you want to meet? What do you want to have? Where do you want to go? In 2013, Make-A-Wish transformed San Francisco into Gotham for a 5-year-old boy who had battled leukemia for years and dreamed of being Batkid. Ethan's dream is less fantastic, more everyday superhero—almost all of his answers were garbage truck-related, said Jennifer Stolo, CEO of the local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It meant the wish he'd be granted wasn't too mysterious. "We pretty much knew it was going to be about garbage trucks," said Ethan's dad, Ken Dean, laughing. He's been watching them come down the street since he first learned how to crawl, his dad says. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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