Belacora is ARFF’s honorary firefighter


Judging by the smile on B.J. Belacora’s face, he has enjoyed his little field trip at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport where he saw the inside of an airplane cockpit, toured the Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting station, and rode one of their fire engines.

Belacora experienced all of those things last Friday afternoon as the Make-A-Wish Foundation helped turn the 6-year-old’s wish into fruition with the help of the Commonwealth Ports Authority and ARFF. He has a heart ailment with a pacemaker placed in his chest.

ARFF acting fire chief William C. Camacho and CPA acting executive director Christopher Tenorio made Belacora an honorary ARFF firefighter by awarding him certificates and medals in a simple ceremony attended by ARFF personnel and the Belacora family.

ARFF stations in Guam and Pohnpei, when they heard about Belacora’s condition, also sent their respective certificates. ARFF CNMI also gave a banner to the Belacora family wishing them all the best and B.J. to fully recover from his condition.

Corazon Belacora, B.J.’s mother, said her son was born with the heart condition where he underwent an eight-hour operation in San Diego exactly eight days after he was born. “He already had six surgeries and has a pacemaker.”

“Now, he’s growing up to be a normal kid a lot has changed. He can now walk and play without easily getting tired. We’re thankful for all the people who made this happen. It really hurts for me, as a mother, that I can’t give all that he wanted,” said Corazon, who works at I Fashion.

She said that her son really likes firetrucks and even talked of becoming a fireman someday. “There are times that he could not sleep immediately and he would tell me that he wanted to be a fireman and save lives someday.”

“He’s still young, he can be whatever he wants. Hopefully his condition improves,” added Corazon, who said that her son’s next scheduled check up is later this year while his pacemaker is good for 10 years.

B.J. also received school supplies as he is set to enter first grade at the Garapan Elementary School. Among the other gifts are an iPad Air and three iPad minis for his siblings Lea, Jazz, and J.R. Their father, Eduardo, takes care of B.J. at home.

Make-A-Wish Foundation executive director Victor P. Camacho thanked the CPA and ARFF for helping them in granting B.J.’s wish. “Partners like them help us in granting the wishes of the kids. We thank everyone at the CPA and ARFF for answering our request.”

Camacho added that this was the second wish that they granted on Saipan this year with another one happening in less than two weeks. Jasmine Guanzon, who is suffering from papillary carcinoma, had her wish of seeing her mother who works in Hong Kong granted early this year.

Triple J Wholesale donated fruits, Sweet Escape gave a cake in a shape of a fire hat and cupcakes, while the sandwiches that were served came from Pacific Islands Club, which also presented a weekend stay at the resort and waterpark passes to the Belcora family. Rep. Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan) donated water.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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