CORONA (CBSLA.com) — Whenever 4 and one-half year-old Tayvin Sheridan visits Corona Fire’s Station Number 3, he isn’t just spinning his wheels — he’s “hanging out” with family.
The crew made Tayvin an honorary firefighter after hearing about the little boy’s medical challenges.
“I like fire trucks,” Tayvin told KCAL9’s Rachel Kim.
He was born with a hypoplastic right heart. That means the right side of his heart is completely underdeveloped. So are his right arm and right ear.
“Basically, he was a twin. When the twin passed away, it left a lot of blood clots in my placenta and didn’t allow Tayvin’s right side of the upper body to get enough blood flow and oxygen,” explains his mother Kambria Sheridan.
The Corona Fire Department has helped raise money for Tayvin’s family through picnics and golf tournaments. But this year, one of their newly hired firefighter paramedics is going the extra mile — make that a lot of miles. 26.2 to be exact.
Daniel Khalili, 29,has been a runner his whole life. When he decided to compete in his first Ironman Triathlon in July, he wanted to dedicate the race to Tayvin. And this is a lot of dedication — a 26.2 mile run, 112 mile bike ride and 2.4 mile swim. All in one day.
The money Daniel Khalili raises will help pay for Tayvin Sheridan’s upcoming heart bypass surgery.
Khalili is someone “Making A Difference” (a new CBS2/KCAL9 segment) in his community.
“It’s motivation. I know it’s a long race, on the bike I’m gonna hit that low point, but when I have someone like Tayvin to keep in the back of my head it will be definitely an inspiration,” says Khalili.
Tayvin’s mom is grateful for the support.
“Dan is super sweet, heart of gold, and just to be able to open this up, challenge himself and do it with dedication for Tayvin, it’s really neat,” she says.
For his part, Khalili says his heart skips a beat knowing the Ironman will be helping the little man.
“Our tag line for the city of Corona Fire is serving our city with pride. So it’s everything that we do from running calls to what we’re doing outside work,” sayd Khalili.
The fact the fire department has been there for Tayvin in so many ways gladdens his mom.
“It makes you feel you’re not alone,” she says.
At this writing, they have raised about a third of the money needed for Tayvin’s operation. For more about Tayvin and the GoFundMe page, click here.