Boy, 7, With Cancerous Brain Tumor Sworn In As Torrance Police Officer
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October 21, 2018

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Drake Walker, 7, likes to head out on his police motorcycle replica, with red and blue lights and powered by 12 volts, to protect his community. He’s never caught any bad guys, he says. He’s never handed out any tickets, but the neighborhood – including a nearby park – remains safe. “Maybe they see you coming and they leave,” his father, James, recently told him. Drake really wants to be a police officer, just like his dad, a sergeant and 14-year veteran of the Torrance Police Department.

But in August the boy was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an aggressive and inoperable cancerous tumor at the base of his brain stem. Still, his dream came true. On Oct 16, 2018, nearly a year after he began his neighborhood patrols, and after months of MRIs, radiation and other treatments, Drake officially became a cop.
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A GoFundMe has been set up for those who want to donate to the Walker family.

August 15th Jim and Leslie Walker were given news no parent wants to hear. Their 7 year old Drake has been diagnosed with DIPG, a terminal and very aggressive cancerous tumor on his brain stem.

The Walkers are an amazing family full of love, dedication and service. Jim serves as a Sergeant with the Torrance Police Department, and Leslie serves families as a Birth and Postpartum Doula. Taryn, James and Gigi are Drake’s adorable and amazing siblings. We hope to bless them in this monitory way to ease even a tiny bit of burden they might face along their journey AND memories of fun that will last forever.

All funds raised go directly to the family to help support them in any way during this difficult time.
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Drake Walker, 7, likes to head out on his police motorcycle replica, with red and blue lights and powered by 12 volts, to protect his community. He’s never caught any bad guys, he says. He’s never handed out any tickets, but the neighborhood – including a nearby park – remains safe. “Maybe they see you coming and they leave,” his father, James, recently told him.

Drake really wants to be a police officer, just like his dad, a sergeant and 14-year veteran of the Torrance Police Department. But in August the boy was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an aggressive and inoperable cancerous tumor at the base of his brain stem.

Still, his dream came true.

Nearly a year after he began his neighborhood patrols, and after months of MRIs, radiation and other treatments, Drake officially became a cop. First, he tried on the uniform. He went to take a look in the mirror at the family’s home, standing at attention.

He sat in a chair, confidently answering questions from Chief Eve Irvine as he was sworn in as an honorary police officer. His badge was pinned on by his father – “Honorary Officer,” it says. “Torrance Police. Drake.” – to a standing ovation from a nearly full house, with almost 100 members of the Torrance force in attendance.

“All these people in uniform are here for you, because you’re now one of us,” Irvine told Drake.

“It really is an honor to have Drake officially become a member of the law enforcement family,” Irvine said. “He embraces the traits that we look for in officers. Drake is a true inspiration, and is a welcomed addition to our organization. We are extremely proud of Honorary Officer Drake, his entire family, and how the community has come together to support him.”

Drake, the third of four children, didn’t talk much that night at the ceremony, but a couple of days later he gave his take on it.

“It was great,” he recalled. “I was happy, excited. I liked it.”

Drake’s dream of being a police officer was born through awards ceremonies, where he saw his dad receive recognition for saving lives and helping others.

“He wants to come to the office with me, and he wants to help me catch the bad guys,” James Walker, 39, said. “It was a big deal when I was sworn in, you don’t take that oath lightly. For Drake to be sworn in with the same oath of service is a big deal to me. It’s a really proud moment for me that he’s being honored in this way.”

What Drake has affects up to 300 young children per year in the United States, making it difficult to treat and even more difficult to research. The Walkers joined a clinical trial at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. The family holds hope that a cure can be found.

The only warning signs to Drake’s condition came in the spring, when his parents noticed his face droop a bit and his speech regress. But it wasn’t until Aug. 15, after the Walkers had just returned from a vacation, that they receive the news that Drake had the brain-stem tumor.

As for treatments, Drake takes it all in stride. The tumor hasn’t claimed his personality and he’s handled every MRI, every radiation treatment, every doctor’s appointment with ease, his parents say.

When he’s not patrolling the neighborhood, he enjoys baseball, basketball and his new favorite sport, tennis. The Torrance Police Department has stepped in, big time.

A GoFundMe page has garnered donations of nearly $46,000 as of earlier this week.

“That means everything to us,” Leslie Walker said. “You can’t put words to how much that means to us.”

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