9-year-old battling cancer made honorary firefighter

O’FALLON, MO (KPLR) - Nine-year-old Keira Stout has been battling a rare form of cancer.

Monday night she became an honorary firefighter with the O’Fallon Fire Protection District.

Hanging in the closet with all of the other firefighter’s uniforms was turnout gear labeled Stout.

Two years ago, 9-year-old Keira was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

It started as a tumor behind her right eye that then spread to her arm, lower back, lungs and bone marrow. Keira’s cancer went into remission but returned in May 2016.

About a year ago Keira met O’Fallon firefighter Tom Vogelgesang, and the two became fast friends.

On Monday, thanks to Tom and the rest of the O’Fallon Fire Protection District, Keira became an honorary O’Fallon firefighter.

“I would tell then thank you so much for all of this and I love you guys and you’re the best,” said Keira.

“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,” Tom 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.”

Keira was given a uniform, badge and personalized purple hat.

Tom has been growing his hair out to raise money for kids with cancer.

The goal is for Keira and Tom to have both of them shave their heads together.