A 6-year-old Virginia boy battling brain cancer and a spinal tumor got a special treat Wednesday when he was sworn in as an honorary member of the Watertown Police Department.
Nathan Norman is being treated at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. His condition has deteriorated since first being diagnosed in 2009 and his prognosis is uncertain.
"We asked him, 'if you could give your cancer away, would you?'", said Bobby Norman, Nathan's father. "He said 'I wouldn't want anyone else to have this.'"
What Nathan's parents did want him to have was a Christmas. Nathan told his parents his one Christmas wish was to have a Christmas this year, so in October, his parents set up decorations to make sure everyday was Christmas for Nathan. Word of "Nathan's Christmas" spread through his hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia and beyond and a Facebook page set up for Nathan now has more than 10,000 likes.
One of his wishes was to receive cards from police officers and firefighters from around the country. Two detectives with the Watertown Police Department learned of Nathan's wish, and thought they could do one better.
"We decided to make him an honorary police officer and give him a badge and a plaque," said Watertown Police Chief John Gavallas.
The department set up a Skype connection with Nathan Wednesday to swear in their youngest officer. The badge, plaque and a police hat are being shipped to Nathan's home in Virginia.
Nathan's parents said the chance to be a police officer has made a world of difference for their son.
"If you live everyday like you're dying, this world would be a great place because you'd do things so differently," Bobby Norman said.