Boy’s wish comes true with fire truck ride


GREENVILLE — A wish came true for Maddox Brewer Thursday night when he got to ride through town in a Greenville Township Fire Department fire engine.

Phillip and Hailey Brewer of Union City, Indiana, parents of the 5-year-old, just know that’s what their son wanted, even though he doesn’t talk.

“They can tell by his expressions and seeing firetrucks when they’re out that he enjoys them,” said Carrie Denlinger, a a Greenville Township firefighter and a co-worker of Hailey’s at Rural King, who made the ride in the truck a reality Thursday.

Maddox was diagnosed shortly after birth with holoprosencephaly (HPE), a rare brain disorder in which the brain didn’t separate into two hemispheres, leaving him disabled for the rest of his life.

“At four months we knew something was wrong,” his mother said. “He constantly cried…non-stop. We were first told we were overbearing, first-time parents. Then after an MRI, he was diagnosed. He is definitely our blessing.”

She said children with HPE are prone to have seizures and some have facial deformities.

“He has only had one seizure,” Hailey said. “We watch his sodium levels.”

Lt. Jeremy Kautz drove the fire truck in which Maddox, his mother and Denlinger were passengers.

According to Denlinger, Maddox’s care is done by the family all of the time.

“He attends kindergarten in the morning and his father and an aide are there with him at school at Randolph Eastern in Union City,” she said.

Not only did Maddox get his ride, the firefighters at the station presented him with Marshal, a paw patrol stuffed Dalmatian, a miniature fire truck, a Station 5 t-shirt and ball cap.

At home, Maddox has Piper, a Siberian husky, to keep him entertained.

Maddox is also the grandson of Tim and Margo Brewer and Tony and Carolyn Neargarder and great-grandchild of Evelyn Neargarder and Nadine Brooks.

“This is the first request we’ve had to make a child’s wish come true,” said Chris Norris. “We’ve done them, but not medically.”

Maddox and his family are in need of a vehicle with a lift chair so that they can transport him easily. And, Denlinger has made it her mission as well as the Greenville Township Fire Department’s goal to help this family achieve this goal and they have formed Team Maddox.

Denlinger is planning a benefit for Maddox on Nov. 20 at Hot Rods and Harleys. There will be a 50/50 drawing and raffles.

Those having questions or wishing to help may contact Firefighter Carrie Denlinger via email at [email protected] or call 937-423-1644.

An account is set up at Mercer Savings called the Maddox Brewer Benefit Fund.

By Linda Moody

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Linda Moody may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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