Brave the Shave event extra special for one Bismarck family

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The Guns and Hoses event is a fundraising battle between Bismarck police and Bismarck firefighters for Brave the Shave foundations.

The night meant a little more to firefighter Joe Gartner. His four-year-old son, Levi, is battling neuroblastoma, a type of cancer.

Levi likes spending time at the fire station, pretending to drive the trucks like his dad. Now, Joe's happy to have his son back.

"He's active and starting to be a little boy again, not just used to being in the hospital all the time and bed ridden," said Joe.

Levi spent the past year battling an aggressive neuroblastoma, one that nearly killed him. The Gartner's left Bismarck for 9 months so Levi could have chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries before coming back to Bismarck for therapy.

"You don't realize how much you can cry in the amount of time that he was diagnosed," said Joe.

While the Gartner's were gone, other firefighters stepped up to help.

"I know their kids, they know my kids. We're at graduations, confirmations things like that. You know we're a family," said Dale Hurt, Bismarck Fire Department.

Joe said, "The guys here in Bismarck actually bought Christmas lights and put them up on my house so that way when we came home in December 2016, the kids had Christmas lights to come home to."

While they were in Minnesota, local firefighters welcomed Levi into their station. Even celebrating his fourth birthday.

"He's able to walk in the door with Levi in a fire department that just happened to be there I guess, and the guys happened to be there, and they were able to experience that brotherhood," said Hurt.

Now back in Bismarck, Levi is going to physical therapy, getting stronger every day and a shot at being a normal 4 year old.

Levi's most recent scans came back stable.

Brave the Shave's main event will take place on Saturday at the Missouri Valley Family YMCA in Bismarck starting at 1:30 p.m.