Four Braintree police officers are traveling to Virginia with law enforcement agents from across Massachusetts and the country to bring holiday joy to a 6-year-old boy with terminal cancer.
Officer Ryan McHugh, Officer Donald Delaney, Detective Charles Paris and Officer Peter Gillis left at about 5 a.m. Wednesday morning from Burlington, part of a group of more than 100 cruisers, Gillis said in an email this morning.
The Braintree officers are making the 645-mile trip on their own time. They will return on Thursday.
Three years ago, Nathan Norman, who lives with his family in Rustburg, Virginia, was diagnosed with brain cancer.
"I remember the doctor saying that there was an abnormality," his mother Dawn Norman remembers. "The doctor kept telling me over and over that there was an abnormality and then it hit me. He was telling me that my son had cancer."
An operation removed 55 percent of the tumor; however, Nathan has since developed an inoperable tumor on his spinal cord. Since his original diagnosis, he has been on six different chemotherapy treatments and has had three surgeries.
Like most little boys, Nathan loves to watch cops, firemen and EMT's speed to calls in shiny cars and trucks —sirens blaring and lights flashing —making no stops as they race to save people.
This Christmas, Nathan is calling upon these heroes to make his wish come true by sending him cards, letters and patches —anything with a first responder insignia.
More information on Nathan's story can be found here: http://newmilford-nj.patch.com/articles/a-christmas-wish-for-a-dying-boy.