CAMPBELL COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7)-- A firefighter's funeral took place in Campbell County Wednesday afternoon.
11-year-old Landon Martin was named an honorary firefighter in 2016. Last week, he died after battling brain cancer for four years.
Wednesday afternoon ladders were raised and a flag was flying for a little boy who never had his chance to fight fire. But still got to call himself a member of the Evington Volunteer Fire Department.
“At the open house he sat in the passenger seat of our new fire truck and he was just smiling from ear to ear,” said WT Hall, Chief of the Evington Volunteer Fire Department. “It brought brightness to everybody.”
Along with firetrucks, Landon loved tractors.
“Loved to drive the John Deer tractors, as he did on the farm,” said his grandfather, Howard Mason.
From when he was diagnosed in 2014 to 2018, when he took his last breath, he fit a lot in. Landon visited Disney, became a firefighter and even stopped by the John Deere headquarters in Illinois.
The night Landon died there was a rainbow in the sky.
“Some say it had a tint of John Deere green and yellow,” said Mason.
Wednesday, hundreds of people came to say goodbye, wearing ribbons that said "Landon Strong". Family shared stories.
“When we'd go to lunch at the Cracker Barrel or the T-room I would ask him if he was going to pay for the meals. He would turn his pockets inside out and say poppa, I'm broke,” said Mason. “But I have magic money.”
Landon would turn to the cashier with a big smile and blow them a kiss. That was his magic money.
“Debt paid in full with love,” said Mason.
As his funeral procession drove away, Landon's “magic money” is one of many lessons that will stick from his short life. Show love and the rest will work itself out.
During his fight, Landon’s family made a Facebook page for him called “Landon Strong”. It’s said to have inspired cancer patients across the country and has over 1,800 followers. His friends, family and fire family are convinced that his story is far from over. They say he will continue to impact the lives of many.
“A special kid with a twinkle in his smile,” said Mason. “And I know he's working a deal right now with God to get on a John Deere tractor. I do know that.”
The Evington Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a corn-hole tournament fundraiser in memory of Landon this weekend, May 19th. The fundraiser begins at 4:00 p.m. at 10624 Colonial Hwy.