FESTUS, Mo. – On most days, the Festus Fire Department is decked out in the traditional fire engine red color. But on Wednesday, the building was plastered in pink.
From board games to bears, 3-year-old Honorary Fire Chief Adleigh Grace is calling the shots. It’s a special day for a special girl because of a terminal illness.
“She has no idea about her condition,” said Dawn Biles, Adleigh’s mother. “She just knows she has a bump on her brain.”
Last November, Adleigh was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a highly aggressive and difficult-to-treat form of brain cancer.
“It’s inoperable, incurable, terminal upon diagnosis,” Biles said.
With less than two years to live, doctors told Biles to choose quantity or quality for what remains of her daughter’s life.
“I have to not be selfish and love her enough to let her go,” Biles said.
Biles said they're soaking up every experience with fun and fundraising. This day was coordinated by local non-profit charity The Vibe Tribe. On Saturday, proceeds from the fourth annual Ray Memorial Washer Tournament in south St. Louis will support Adleigh’s family. Adleigh will turn 4 on Sunday, September 9.
“We’re grateful for this time we’ve been given with her,” Biles said.
Adleigh’s family said more time together would be the greatest gift.