8-year-old boy battling rare terminal cancer is made police chief for a day

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JEFFERSONTOWN, Ky. — An 8-year-old boy is battling a rare, terminal cancer. His home city of Jeffersontown, Kentucky decided to surprise him by naming him police chief for the day, WDRB reports.

Officer Brandon Gwynn with the Jeffersontown police said he wanted to go “above and beyond” for Kyler Buckner.

“He deserves anything and everything,” Gwynn said.

They say live in the moment, but when you’re eight years old, and the doctors say your days are few, these minutes and moments just matter more.

Kristen Mackin, Kyler’s mother, said her son’s condition was more serious than they thought. A tumor had spidered over his brain stem. He has a rare pediatric cancer. There’s no cure and no effective treatment. It’s the kind of cancer no child survives.

“It’s so hard to have a kid that’s running around and playing and just enjoying life and being so silly,” Mackin said. “And the next day, he can’t walk. He can’t feed himself. He can’t go to the bathroom. And it’s just like you just don’t know. You just don’t know that this is possible until you walk in those shoes. And then you’re just heartbroken that it has to happen to anybody, and you’re devastated that your child is one of those.”

The Jeffersontown police did everything they could to make Kyler’s moment as police chief one of his best, from K-9’s to firearms and even some true detective work with Kyler’s brother Jakob at his side as assistant chief.

But it wasn’t just training for the new recruit. Kyler’s day one had a very real police run.

On the 8-year-old’s way to the station, he witnessed his fellow officers tend to a crash complete with injuries and an infant.

“He kind of looked up and me and said, ‘is this real?’” Gwynn said. “I said, ‘Kyler, this is what it’s like to be a hero.'”

All those involved in the crash were expected to be okay.

“You don’t get picked or chosen to do certain things, you just got to act,” Gwynn said.

You don’t get picked for cancer either, and the kind Kyler has kills most kids in less than a year.

“We just live day to day,” Mackin said. “Live and laugh and love and enjoy what time we have because nobody knows how long.”

Each moment, every day at its best.

“The smile’s never left his face,” Mackin said.

Kyler and his family will soon travel to San Francisco for an experimental treatment that will put chemo directly into his brain stem.

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