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Hartland's Young Hero Continues His Mission

Mitchell Dybalski of Hartland was honored on Friday night with a hero's welcome during a fundraiser at Village Elementary.

With lights flashing, signaling a line of firetrucks, police cars and military vehicles, a procession of heroes honoring one small hero took place in Hartland on Friday night.

Joining in the mission to help Mitchell Dybalski, a Hartland kindergartner who has been battling a form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma since 2012, an escort was organized by Hartland Fire Marshall Mike Bernardin to lead Mitchell and his family to a Dec. 6 fundraiser at Village Elementary.

After learning of Mitchell's love and fascination with soldiers, firemen and police, Bernardin said giving the "strong and courageous" young boy the opportunity to meet his heroes was something the Hartland Fire Department wasn't going to give up on.

"You should have seen his face when we were at his house," Bernardin said. "We gave him a full salute."

Mitchell and his young sister Lena were then treated to tours of all the emergency vehicles and a trip around his subdivision in a firetruck before being driven to Village Elementary in a United States Army humvee.

Arriving at his school to a cheering crowd that had lined up along the sidewalk to greet him, Mitchell exited the vehicle with a big grin and a "thumbs-up" sign for his friends.

It was a well-deserved honor, according to Bernardin who explained that not just just anyone can get an armored Humvee from the Michigan National Guard.

"He got the whole nine yards and he had fun," Bernardin said. "It was all about Mitchell tonight."

For more of the story, click here.

Donations can be made to the family online. For more information, check out the Facebook page dedicated to Mitchell's Mission.

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