CARROLLTON (CBS 11 NEWS)  – We think of police officers as being there for our needs. Maybe that’s why we never quite think of them as having any of their own.

But there’s a Carrollton police officer with two special needs children. And he’s hoping to get them a special needs van.

The Carrollton Police Department hired Mark Costello right out of the academy two years ago.

Costello works nights. During the day, he helps care for his three children. That’s tough enough for anybody. But two of their children have incurable diseases.

“We can’t change it. So, we just roll with it,” Costello said.

Landon, who’s seven, was diagnosed with Haddad Syndrome. It’s a combination of Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome and Hirschsprung’s disease which affects the digestive system.

It’s a rare disorder where the central nervous system does not send messages to the lungs.

“His brain does not tell him to breathe,” said Brandy Costello.

Carter, who’s 18 months old, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

“There’s no treatment. And, there’s no cure. But, basically, you lose the ability to use all the muscles in your body,” Brandy said.

He also has brittle bones. He’s already had more than 15 breaks.

“If you move him a certain way, his bones just snap,” Brandy said.

Carter can, however, communicate with his eyes and is learning to drive his wheelchair.

His wheelchair is his independence. It goes where he goes. Only it weighs 400 pounds and it has some odd dimensions that don’t have a vehicle it fits in.

“We’re trying to get him in a van where we can go places. Doctor’s appointments. We’ve been to a dozen doctor’s appointments so far this year. He’s probably on schedule for a dozen more,” Mark said.

Only that van would cost as much as $87-thousand dollars, money the rookie police officer does not have, which is why his mother-in-law started a fundraiser on

So far, they’ve received nearly 14-thousand in donations in only eight days.

The Carrollton Police Department is also supporting the fundraising efforts.

Mark Costello is a public servant. But privately he’s just like any dad.

Click here for more information on how to help the Costello’s in their fundraising efforts or go to and put “Landon and Carter” in the search engine.

Businesses that would like to donate can also write a check to The Carrollton Police Officers Association which is a non-profit organization.

Mail to:

Carrollton Police Department
Attn: Michelle Grigg
2025 E. Jackson Rd.
Carrollton, TX. 75006

Brandy Costello has also started a website in the hopes of starting a foundation of her own for fundraising and information on the diseases her boys are battling.

It’s called 3 Brothers For A Cure. It includes a blog, pictures and information about the family.

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