Ethan Dean, a 6-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis, spent Tuesday as the recycling and garbage superhero of Sacramento, Calif., complete with a fluorescent sanitation safety T-shirt and a green cape.
More than 100 people turned out to cheer for Ethan as he made his way through the city riding in a garbage truck as part of an event organized by the Make-a-Wish Foundation and local sponsors. The parade, or garbage route, wound its way through downtown Sacramento, ending at the California state capitol building.
A green garbage truck owned by Waste Management, Inc. was plastered with a sign saying “Ethan’s Garbage Truck.” The dancers for the Sacramento Kings basketball team turned out with signs saying “We Love You Ethan.” There was even a motorcycle escort, provided by the Sacramento Police Department.
Ethan was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was two weeks old, according to the Sacramento Bee. He has long wanted to ride around on a garbage truck collecting trash.
“We pretty much knew it was going to be about garbage trucks,” Ethan’s dad, Ken Dean, told The Associated Press. His son apparently has a garbage truck bedspread and pillow, and loves garbage truck toys.
At the end of the parade, Sacramento Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg and Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers thanked Ethan and congratulated him on his hard work to clean up the city.