10 Year Old in Need of Kidney Is Grand Marshal of Hawley Fourth of July Parade

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."


  • Clarissa

    This story was heart-wrenching and heart-warming at the same time. Watching the report, I kept thinking what a bright, funny and articulate young man this is! I pray that someone will step forward and be a perfect donor match for him.

      • Lance

        You’re parents must be proud now that you finally graduated from the 4th grade. Since you act like someone stole your favorite toy truck. Keep hoping for a personality transplant you are totally deficient.

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