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10 years on, “Fire Truck Santa” still lifting spirits in Warrington


It’s a warm story about giving for the holidays that has stood the test of time — and continues to give again and again — with the help of Warrington Township Fire Company’s Station 29 and Central Bucks South student Devlyn Faber.

What began 10 years ago to support a young girl facing brain cancer now brings joy to others.

Originally, the Warrington Fire Company and neighbors celebrated Gianna Grace Masciantonio.

The Bucks County girl was diagnosed with a brain tumor, placed on hospice and not expected to live. Pope Francis stopped his motorcade while visiting Philadelphia to give Gianna a kiss on the head. The tumor turned out to be non-cancerous and Gianna is still with us today, celebrating her life and giving the gift of joy to others.

Following chemotherapy and 23 surgeries, Gianna — Gigi to her family and friends — and her family sponsor other children who are battling some form of childhood brain tumor or rare disease for a Fire Truck Santa visit.

Sal Azzara, vice president and firefighter with Warrington Fire Company, plays an integral role in the coordination of the now-annual event.

“We thank Gianna every day for teaching us how to persevere with whatever comes our way in life,” he said.

Kristen Masciantonio, Gigi’s mother, said “the sound of the firemen arriving in our neighborhood still brings tears to my eyes, reminding me of the strength and support from our community…we now find strength in extending a helping hand to other children and families navigating similar challenges.”

“This year (the 10th anniversary) was incredibly special,” said Devlyn Faber, who has been attending the Fire Truck Santa event since she was 6 years old. “I have slowly taken on more responsibility and am grateful to experience the incredible things Gigi’s foundation (The Love of Grace Foundation Inc.) does.”

This year’s Fire Truck Santa recipient was a little girl who has been battling brain cancer for five years. This year’s recipient of Fire Truck Santa was a little girl who has been battling brain cancer for five years. When the truck came around on Dec. 19 with “sirens and lights flashing everywhere,” the young lady and her father were “in awe of it all,” the father said.

Gigi, Devlyn and Kristen have worked with Starbucks, Nico’s Pizza of Chalfont, and Payton Jewelry Store to support the Fire Truck Santa event and the work of the foundation.

Gigi has teamed up with the owner of Payton Jewelry Store to design two bracelets that “extend the hope beyond her own journey” and fulfill her wish to “spread love, faith and support to others facing similar challenges,” according to Gigi.

The bracelets are sold at Payton Jewelry Store on East State Street in Doylestown and at

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