Boy with brain cancer becomes honorary police officer

ITHACA, NY -- A 9-year-old boy battling brain cancer had the day of his life Monday when he became a member of his hometown police force in Ithaca, New York.

Colin Toland says it was a dream-come-true. He told station WSTM, "My favorite part about it is the badge."

He was sworn in as a member of the Ithaca Police Department in front of his family, dozens of officers, and even his third grade class.

Colin's mother Tamiko Toland says it's something she'll never forget. "It meant so much to us," she said. "And I was genuinely the proud mother of a police officer this morning."

RELATED: Team pays tribute to cheerleader with leukemia

It's just the latest accomplishment for Colin who has gone through six brain surgeries -- three of those in the last 20 months.

His dad, Ian Hayward, says even during the hardest times, nothing can keep Colin down.

Hayward said, "Colin doesn't look at obstacles the way I've seen most people. He sees everyday as an opportunity to have fun. If he's having a tough time he usually bounces back with a laugh or a joke."

His positive attitude is just one reason Chief John Barber says it's an honor to have him on the force.
"It's inspiring and he's touched the hearts of every single officer you see here," he said.

RELATED: Teen relies on faith while fighting rare cancer

Quite the feat for a rookie officer, but no surprise to his family.

Hayward said, "I know he's the bravest kid I've ever met and I know he'll take this job seriously and serve."

As for Colin, he said, "I just like helping people."

Hayward said, "His time is limited. I just don't want him to be forgotten."

But, as station WSTM noted, after the ceremony, it's pretty clear that won't happen.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.