“Are we going to the clinic?” asked Nathan.
“No, honey. We’re going for a ride in a transport truck!” his mom explained.
First ride-along ever
Nathan Snyder went on an amazing adventure yesterday thanks to the help of his parents and Erb Transport. The three-year-old Brantford boy was diagnosed with cancer at 22 months. One day, Nathan had a fever and could not walk. When his parents took him to the hospital, they found out that he had leukemia. During his stays at McMaster Hospital, Nathan became fascinated with trucks and vehicles as he watched them drive past the window of his room.
“He’s been obsessed with vehicles for as long as we can remember,” says Tonya, Nathan’s mother. “He knows the names of all the trucks. He told me his dream is to get into every kind of truck in the world!”
Although Nathan has had the opportunity to sit in a construction vehicle, a garbage truck and a fire truck, he has never been on a ride-along before – until now. Nathan and his parents arrived at Erb Transport’s Baden terminal at around 8:30 Monday morning. Excited and a little nervous, Nathan was shy and quiet in the beginning. However, at the first sight of the transport truck that he was going to be in, he started smiling and pointing at it to show everyone.
Scott Misener, Erb Transport’s Baden Driver Supervisor, took Nathan and his parents out for a drive. As soon as he got in the cabin, the little boy was curious to observe and explore everything around him: the steering wheel, the driver’s seat, the control panel, and more. During the drive, Nathan was thrilled to see different types of trucks on the road. He smiled and waved at drivers as they passed by and asked Scott plenty of questions about his trailer. He displayed a strong sense of compassion; every now and then he would turn to his parents to check in on them and see if they are doing OK.
“He is a ridiculously positive kid,” Nathan’s mom exclaimed. “Through all the hospital visits and chemotherapy treatments, Nathan never lost his smile and his passion for trucks. His optimism was the only thing that kept me going. Nothing makes me happier than hearing him laugh.”
The end results
After returning to the Baden terminal, Scott let Nathan pull the air horn and gifted him a die cast Erb truck. Scott was happy to make a new little friend. “Nathan is a bright boy,” says Scott. “It is always nice to see kids’ enthusiasm with trucks. It never gets old.” Nathan also got to meet Wendell Erb, President and CEO of Erb Transport. They shook hands and walked around to see the other trucks in the yard. By the end of the morning, Nathan left, feeling inspired and exhilarated.
Nathan has been responding well to his medication and was in great spirits yesterday. He is starting phase 4 (out of 11) of his maintenance treatment today, and he is excited to tell the doctors and nurses all about his eventful morning.