FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Joe Turner is only eight-years-old, but he already knows he’s suited to be a police officer. “I don’t want to be in a job that doesn’t have that much action,” he explained. “I like a lot of action.”
Wednesday, Joe and his three brothers, ages 10, five, and four, got to be police officer’s for a day, thanks to the Fort Worth Police Department and A Wish With Wings.
“He’s getting to experience I’d say every aspect of being a police officer, from rappelling to helicopters, to SWAT Team,” said Judy Youngs, executive director for the non-profit organization. “We’re about granting that one magical wish for a lifetime of memories.”
But Joe has another memory he and his family would rather forget.
“Joe had a Wilms’ Tumor, which was a tumor on his kidney,” explained Joe’s mother, Liz Turner. “One day he was just outside with his brother and it ruptured.”
Joe had surgery to remove the cancerous tumor, his kidney and part of his liver, before undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
“There were the tough times during the treatments and everyone makes a sacrifice,” Joe’s mother said, “and it’s hard on the family.”
During his chemotherapy, the Turner family contacted A Wish With Wings, which granted Joe his primary wish to fly over a volcano and swim with dolphins in Hawaii.
But his journey with the organization didn’t end there. “They asked Joe ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’” his mother recalled, “and Joe said he wanted to be a police officer.”
The organization contacted Fort Worth police and set up a day for the family to come out.
“We’re not about the hospital treatments, and doctor’s offices and chemotherapy. We’re about fun,” Youngs said about A Wish With Wings. “[We’re] about forgetting about those hospital visits, forgetting about the hospital treatments, letting go and having fun.”
Now in remission, Joe can pursue his passion to protect the peace.
“To have this day is very rewarding, very fulfilling,” explained Fort Worth Police Officer Cliff Miller. “Just to see their faces, their hearts, and their eyes glow.”
On this particular Wednesday, Joe and his brothers lived a dream. “Obviously boys like this kind of stuff,” Joe’s dad, Kevin Turner, said. “Rappelling and guns, and the helicopter… it’s a lot of fun for them.”
Joe’s parents said their dream has already come true, their son who once fought cancer, survived.
“Healthy, active, cancer-free!” Liz Turner said excited. “Absolutely a blessing from God. Truly amazing.”