North Las Vegas firefighters escort leukemia patient home

Updated February 6, 2018 - 11:27 pm

A surgical mask couldn’t hide Johnathan Rubio’s beaming smile as he slipped a firefighter helmet on his bald head and boarded a North Las Vegas fire engine.

The 16-year-old junior from Bonanza High School was treated to a hero’s ride home Tuesday afternoon after undergoing five weeks of intensive treatment for leukemia at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center.

“I’ve always wanted to aspire to be better and help other people,” said Rubio, who has participated over the past two years in the North Las Vegas Fire Explorer Program.

“I didn’t expect this,” Rubio said. “But it’s really nice.”

Rubio was diagnosed with leukemia on Nov. 29 and started treatment within three days because his doctors “were afraid of losing him,” said his mother, Lori Harrison.

The teenager said he was admitted to the hospital five weeks ago due to a loss of appetite caused by sores in his esophagus, leading to rapid weight loss. He underwent a bone marrow biopsy on Monday and hopes to have a transplant within the year.

“It’s been a very hard thing to go through,” Harrison said. “To find out your 16-year-old son is going in for a fever and then getting told that he has leukemia is hard. Everything happened so fast.”

North Las Vegas firefighters have offered their help to Rubio since his diagnosis, leading to the escorted ride home aboard an oversized rig, Capt. Cedric Williams said.

“He’s one of us. He’s one of our Explorers,” Williams said. “As one of our family members, we’re just here to support him and encourage him and make sure he’s not in this alone.”

Contact Art Marroquin at or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like