boy cancer cop

A very special volunteer cadet was sworn in to the Colorado Springs Police Department on Tuesday: 4-year-old Joshua Salmoiraghi.

Joshua was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer in July 2017. But in spite of his battle, he’s always dreamed of being a cop, and he got to live out that dream in front of a room full of supporters as he took his “oath of office in full uniform.”

After being sworn in, Joshua learned all about the Bomb Squad Unit at the Colorado Springs Police Operation Center, got to ride around on his own police motorcycle, and – like any good cop – ate plenty of donuts.

Joshua underwent surgery last year to remove an 11-centimeter tumor from his left kidney. After undergoing extensive radiation and chemotherapy, doctors believed in December that he was in remission. However, in January 2018, a new tumor was discovered in his left lung.

The news was disheartening for Joshua’s parents. Compounding the situation, the family recently moved from their “tight-knit” community in Los Angeles to Colorado Springs because Joshua’s mother, a Major in the U.S. Air Force, was re-stationed at Peterson Air Force Base. After the move, Joshua’s father, a disabled veteran and pastor, knew he wanted to do something special for their son. So he asked Colorado Springs PD if Joshua could ride around in a police cruiser for a day. But Joshua’s story hit close to home for one police officer:

It was Colorado Springs Police Officer Warren Listul who first heard Joshua’s story; the officer and [Joshua’s dad] Joseph were recently chatting outside of a local Wingstop, and Listful was so moved he helped organize Tuesday’s event for the boy.

“Since [my wife] also has stage four [cancer], it struck a nerve with me, very personal,” Listul told Fox21.

“I [initially] asked if [Joshua] could ride around in the police car for the day, but it turned into so much more than that,” said Joseph, who added that the police department’s kind gesture had been a “shock.”

Joshua’s mother Amanda also expressed her gratitude to Colorado Springs PD:

“This was a wonderful welcome for us and kind of helped ease our fears about moving right before Joshua started treatment again,” Amanda told Fox News, adding that she is “grateful to all the people who have gone out of their way to give Joshua special memories before he has to endure another round of treatment.”

Joshua will begin a new six-month round of treatment on Thursday. And while his parents know it will be difficult for the entire family, they’re heartened by the support they’ve received from the local community. “We cry — it has answered our prayers,” Joseph said.

Share this if you’re praying for Joshua and his family!

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