FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Logan Franco made a grand entrance on his first day of kindergarten.
The walkway leading up to the Holy Name School in Fall River was lined with firefighters, who were cheering him on as he walked up to the front door. Logan, 5, was all smiles as one firefighter reached over and gave him a high five.
In 2015, Logan’s father, Adam Franco, died of cancer. The Fall River firefighter was only 32 years old.
“First time I worked with him, I knew he was hardworking and he was dedicated, but I had no idea the strength he had until he battled cancer,” Fall River District Fire Chief Jeffrey Bacon said of Logan’s dad.
After only eight months with the department, Adam was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Bacon said despite his illness, he continued to serve the community.
“He was really sick, but he still came to work,” Bacon recalled. “That’s just the kind of guy he was.”
Franco’s wife, Angela, said the diagnosis stunned everyone.
“It wasn’t typical to see it in a 28-year-old healthy man. They said it’s something they usually saw in a 65-year-old man and older. They were very reluctant to link it with his career and job,” she recalled.
But, Angela said nothing else made sense. They believed the cancer was linked to Adam’s work with the fire department.
In September 2013, the Francos welcomed a son into the world. Angela said they called him their miracle baby.
“We conceived while Adam was on chemo and radiation, so it was quite a shock to find out we were pregnant,” she explained.
Sadly, Adam would only spend about a year and a half with his son, Logan. He died from cancer in March 2015.
“We attend his [Logan’s] football games and baseball games, and naturally, there’s a lot of daddys there, and it’s always mommy,” Angela said. “He knows daddy lives up in heaven, but he just doesn’t understand why.”
Knowing Adam wouldn’t be there for Logan’s very first day of school, his father’s former colleagues made sure they were there to see him off.
“I thought this would be a great way to ease him a little bit, see some familiar faces and make it a little easier for him to head to school that morning,” Bacon said.
So, Fall River firefighters lined the entrance to Logan’s school Tuesday morning to cheer him on for his first day.
Logan said he hopes his dad’s fellow firefighters are there for each first day of school he has – up until he goes to college.
It seems like they will.
“We’re going to make sure this kid knows who his father was, what he did, and what he meant to all of us. That’s something we’ll do forever,” Bacon said.