A 6-year-old boy from Southern California, a leukemia patient since age 3, got the chance to live his dreams as part of the Make-A-Wish foundation. Alan Nguyen was inducted into the Signal Hill police department as well as allowed to ride in a fire truck.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow or blood. It is known for increasing the number of immature white blood cells, also called blasts, in the body. There is no age restriction to leukemia as people from all ages are susceptible to the disease. The main cause of the disease is unknown and causes that are known only account for certain forms of leukemia. In general leukemia as all other forms of cancer develops due to mutation in the patients DNA.
These mutations alter the cell growth, death and division in the patients and hence throw the entire cell function off balance. This adversely effects how the blood platelets and white blood cells to function in the body. For this reason patients suffering from leukemia are known to bruise easily and often fall sick due to a weak immune system.
With help from police officers and firefighters Nguyen was recruited as an honorary member of the department and even allowed to make his first arrest. The department responded to a dispatch about a toy thief at the nearby target just after Nguyen was given his equipment which included his radio, a badge and handcuffs. Nguyen was allowed to investigate the entire case like a real police officer which included going through surveillance footage and checking for clues at the store. Every attempt was made to ensure the 6-year-old leukemia patient was allowed to live his dreams to the fullest.
After the clues led the officers to a park where the thief was present, Nguyen was given the honor to make the arrest himself. As a gift he was even allowed to keep the stolen goods as a reward. Nguyen regarded catching the bad guys the best part of being an officer and the highlight of the entire experience.
Signal Hill Police Chief Michael Langston could not help but praise the young officer’s courage and determination. According to him the boy possessed a great soul along with a great character. At just 6 years of age he knew that he wanted to help people and was determined in his goal to do so.
Not only was Nguyen made an officer but was also assigned an official partner, Officer Brian Johnson. Johnson commented that Nguyen immediately started picking up information just as he was introduced to the case. He already knew what the officers were looking for and knew where they had to go.
This was part of the Make-A-Wish foundation that grants a child’s dream and aims at fulfilling it. It is even reported that the foundation grants a wish every 38 minutes somewhere in the country. The Los Angeles branch of the foundation has granted over 8,300 wishes and celebrated 30 years of service in 2013.
Nguyen’s father said that moments like these help forget the stress a child is under and takes the mind away from the illness for a while. According to his father Nguyen, a patient of leukemia for 3 years, would be more than excited at the chance of living his dreams and would cherish these fond memories for years to come.
By Hammad Ali.