HAWLEY -- This Fourth of July holiday saw plenty of parades, but one boy in Wayne County was given the special honor of Grand Marshal of the parade.
Bobby Fortuna received a big welcome as he walked up to the start of the Fourth of July parade in Hawley, as well as hugs, photos, and a special seat in a convertible.
After all, the 10 year old has a big part of the annual parade. He's the grand marshal.
With his parents in the backseat, Bobby was all smiles in spite of considerable health problems, stage 4 kidney failure. The search has been on for a donor with type O blood.
"I can't have certain foods, chocolate, Gatorade, Doritos, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, marshmallows. I can't have a lot stuff," Bobby said.
"He's always had a ton of confidence. It hasn't seemed to shake him at all. Thank God he has a positive attitude about it all, just waiting for a donor," said Bobby's parents, Janine and Bob Fortuna.
So with a beaming smile and a patriotic hat atop his head, Bobby rode through his hometown of Hawley. People waved and cheered him on in his mission to get healthy once again.
"Bobby is a great kid. It's a shame what he's going through. I feel bad for him, strong little kid," said Cpl Aaron Bertholf, Hawley Police Department.
A strong grand marshal just right for a parade celebrating independence. It's just the latest way everyone is pulling for Bobby as he waits for the day a donor and a new kidney give him the freedom he wishes for so dearly.
Bobby has not started dialysis at this point. His family is hopeful he'll get a kidney before that's necessary.
There's a Facebook page dedicated to his search. It's "A Kidney for Bobby O'Positive."