He endured more than most adults will in a lifetime. But on Friday, Conor Hennessey, a 4-year-old cancer survivor from Plymouth, was named honorary captain and MVP of the day as Boston firefighters battled police in aid of cancer research.

Connor, who was diagnosed with late-stage cancer in January 2021, has beaten all odds so far and yesterday he was able to get into a fire truck, use his siren and then his loudspeaker to shout ” Conor the Brave! on the way to A Shot for Life’s annual “Battle of the Badges” charity basketball game.

“It’s an incredible gesture,” said Conor’s father, Kevin Hennessey. “It definitely made his day.”

At Garvey Park in Dorchester, firefighters in red shirts and police in blue clashed to raise money for cancer research.

In the end, the firefighters beat the cops 26-23, raising more than $10,000 for the cause.

“Conor has shown great strength being here,” said firefighter Paul Blaikie, of Engine 4 in the West End. “We are here to support his cause.

The game was organized by A Shot for Life, a non-profit sports association created by Mike Slonina, whose mother was diagnosed in 2010 with what was mistakenly thought to be a malignant brain tumour. Slonina was only 18 at the time, but he wanted to make a difference.

So, on April 9, 2011, Slonina set a basketball world record by shooting 73.2% from anywhere on the floor for 24 hours. After the story was picked up by the New York Times, ESPN and other outlets, people around the world reached out to tell him what sports and cancer meant to them.

“At that point, I decided that was what I wanted to do with my life,” he said.

Slonina founded A Shot for Life, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research programs through charitable sports games at all levels. For more information or to donate, visit AshotForLife.org.

  • Boston MA – June 4: Close action in the ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ charity basketball game between the Boston Fire Department and the Boston Police Department at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston,

  • Boston MA - June 4: "One Shot for Life: Battle...

    Boston MA – June 4: Conor Hennessey, honorary captain of ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ shoots hoops before charity basketball game between Boston Fire Department and Boston Police Department at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston,

  • Boston MA - June 4: "One Shot for Life: Battle...

    Boston MA – June 4: ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ Honorary Captain Conor Hennessey walks the five-man line before the Boston Fire Department and Boston Police Department charity basketball game at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston,

  • Boston MA - June 4: "One Shot for Life: Battle...

    Boston MA – June 4: ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ Honorary Captain Conor Hennessey at the Boston Fire Department Engine 20 with Shot for Life CEO Mike Slonina before the Boston Fire Department vs Boston Charity Basketball Game Police Department at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston,

  • Boston MA - June 4: "One Shot for Life: Battle...

    Boston MA – June 4: Honorary Captain Conor Hennessey of ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ sits with his mother Heather in the Boston Fire Department’s Engine 20 before the charity basketball game between the Boston Fire Department and Boston Police Department at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston,

  • Boston MA - June 4: "One Shot for Life: Battle...

    Boston MA – June 4: ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ Honorary Captain Conor Hennessey sits in Boston Fire Department Engine 20 before the Boston Fire Department’s charity basketball game Boston Fire and Boston Police Department at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston,

  • Boston MA - June 4: "One Shot for Life: Battle...

    Boston MA – June 4: ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ Honorary Captain Conor Hennessey in a group photo before the charity basketball game between the Boston Fire Department and the Boston Police Department at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston,

  • Boston MA - June 4: "One Shot for Life: Battle...

    Boston MA – June 4: Conor Hennessey, honorary captain of ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ plays with a basketball before the charity basketball game between the Boston Fire Department and the Boston Police Department at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston,

  • Boston MA - June 4: "One Shot for Life: Battle...

    Boston MA – June 4: ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ honorary captain Conor Hennessey high-fives players before the charity basketball game between the Boston Fire Department and the Boston Police Department at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston,

  • Boston MA - June 4: "One Shot for Life: Battle...

    Boston MA – June 4: ‘A Shot for Life: Battle of the Badges’ Honorary Captain Conor Hennessey at the Boston Fire Department Engine 20 before the Boston Fire Department vs. Boston Police Department charity basketball game at Garvey Park in Dorchester. June 4, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)