PATASKALA, Ohio (WCMH) — An 8-year-old boy battling his third round of brain cancer got an early Christmas present during a surprise party to collect toys.
Braxton Long’s life-long dream is to become a police officer, and on Wednesday morning, that dream came true.
Braxton was sworn in as an honorary Pataskala police officer by Mayor Mike Compton.
“I now declare you a police officer of the Pataskala Police Department. Congratulations, sir,” Compton told Braxton and a standing-room only crowd.
Cheers erupted from his family, community, and Central Ohio police officers as Long was handed his badge, T-shirt, band and bullet-proof vest.
Braxton couldn’t be happier with his new title.
“It helps me feel safer and makes me feel happy,” he said.
Braxton’s mother Brittany said the community and officers have been fantastic. She said this act really helps as they face a very tough battle with Stage IV Glioblastoma.
“This has been extremely difficult. Braxton just keeps on fighting and he never loses his smile, so as long as he is doing good, I am doing good,” Brittany said.
Even with all the attention focused on Braxton on his special day, he was still thinking of his fellow patients.
“I had a friend named Skylar, but he passed away and I was going to give him a set of LEGOs,” Braxton said.
Braxton sat in the front seat of a Franklin County SWAT vehicles filled with hundreds of toys and Legos. He was escorted by Pataskala police cruisers on their way to deliver them to his friends and fellow patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
His parents and two sisters watched with big smiles as Braxton turned on the flashing lights and sirens before the caravan left.
“He was surprised and I was overwhelmed by the number of people when I came into the room, it was just standing space,” said Brittany. “We definitely felt loved and we are so, so thankful for the support of the communities around Pataskala and all they have done for Braxton.”