Boy facing terminal brain tumor made trooper for a day

Kentucky troopers helped a 6-year-old boy forget about cancer for a day and made his ultimate dream come true when they welcomed him onto the force as one of their own. David Turner Jr., who was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) in April, reported for duty on Monday with the Kentucky State Police.

Turner’s tumor, which is a highly aggressive and difficult to treat brain tumor found at the base of the brain, is terminal, so the family is focused on helping him create as many memories as they can by planning a “David’s Adventure” event each day.

“You’re stunned,” David Turner Sr., the boy’s father, told WDRB of the diagnosis. “Your mind is racing and your body is going crazy and in that moment, I was just worried about him.”


But after radiation on Monday, the family focused on making Turner’s favorite imaginary game of “Cops and Robbers” come to life. The day included a mini-trooper uniform, hanging out with the SWAT team, K-9 unit and a ride in the firetruck.

“If we can bring a smile to his face and make it a positive day, then it’s worth it, absolutely,” Captain Matt Johnson, who helped organize the day and served in the Marines with Turner’s father, told WDRB.

While Turner did grow tired near the end of the day, his father said seeing his son smile meant everything.

“Anytime he’s smiling just brings joy to my heart,” he told WDRB. “And so for the police officers here, for them to pull together and do this for our son is just, just special.”

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