By Erik Harris, sports editor
TRUSSVILLE — The holidays recently got a little brighter for one Trussville family, which was featured on TODAY’S Heroes Among Us series.
The Bertram’s have been fighting alongside their 5-year-old son, Ford, since mid-February when he was diagnosed with cancer. He is currently undergoing his final phase of treatment.
During a special Christmas parade outside Children’s of Alabama, where Ford gets his treatment, the family was surprised with a truck full of presents for Ford and other pediatric patients in Birmingham.
As Ford tore open his presents, including the much-anticipated skateboard, TODAY reporter Sheinelle Jones announced to the family one final surprise: a $25,000 donation to Children’s of Alabama.
“This family, I promise you, will stay in my heart for the rest of my career,” said Jones during the NBC News broadcast. “As if the pandemic wasn’t enough to deal with in one year, the Bertram family faced the unthinkable: their 5-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer, changing their lives overnight. But thanks to the support of their community, they’ve overcome every single challenge.”
Ford’s mother and father, Amelia and Matt, have been with him each step of the way.
“During the first month (of treatment), he was like a different child,” said Amelia.
“He went from a kid that was 100 miles per hour to the kid who had gained so much weight and was so swollen that we were having to carry him,” said Matt.
But you can’t keep a good man down, especially when he’s built Ford tough.
“This 5-year-old kid is bumping and grinding every day with a smile on his face and you can’t slow him down,” said Matt, a paramedic for the Center Point Fire District and for the Mountain Brook Fire Department. “Just to see that resiliency is amazing.”