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RFD Helps Family Out During Storm
Updated On: Feb 19, 2011

Rockland tot with leukemia makes it to Boston appointment thanks to Fire Department

Marc Vasconcellos/The Enterprise

Shauna McLaughlin holds her daughter Madison Bergstrom, 2, who is in the midst of treatment for leukemia.

By Vicki-Ann Downing
Posted Jan 12, 2011 @ 01:16 PM
Last update Jan 12, 2011 @ 02:58 PM

The Rockland Fire Department came to the rescue at the height of Wednesday morning's storm, allowing Shauna McLaughlin to get her 2-year-old daughter Madison to a chemotherapy appointment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
 
McLaughlin, 27, a native of Whitman, said she got up at 5 a.m. Wednesday to shovel her driveway. After she finished, she was inside having coffee when she heard "a large sound, like snow falling off the roof."
 
It wasn't snow, but a big tree limb, as wide as the tree itself, that fell across her driveway and across Liberty Street, blocking the road to traffic and pulling wires from the side of her house.
 
McLaughlin called the Fire Department.
 
"I said, 'I know you're busy, but can you help?'" said McLaughlin
 
She said a crew arrived quickly and used a chainsaw to remove the limb from the driveway and the street. Liberty Street is a major road in Rockland. Drivers were trying to drive around the limb and were getting caught on the wires, she said.
 
McLaughlin was able to leave her driveway and make it to Madison's appointment on time at 8 a.m., driving an sport utility vehicle with four-wheel drive that was loaned to her by a friend.
 
The normal one-hour drive to Boston took two hours, interrupted by another felled tree, this one on Botolph Street in Boston, that seemed to have a person pinned beneath it, though it was snowing so hard, she could not see for sure, McLaughlin said.
 
McLaughlin said she and Madison were the first to arrive at the Jimmy Fund clinic at Dana Farber.
 
Madison, who was diagnosed in March with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, was scheduled for a lumbar puncture that allows chemotherapy drugs to be injected directly into her brain and spinal fluid. She undergoes the procedure every seven weeks, so "you can't really miss the appointment," said McLaughlin.
 
McLaughlin said she is grateful to the Fire Department.
 
"Kudos to them," McLaughlin said. "They made it in and out of there in no time."


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