Chicago, Illinois (WGN) -- It was easily the most exciting day Drake Price has had since arriving in the Chicago area.
Drake spent the morning with officers from the DuPage County sheriff’s department and got an up close look at some of the coolest gear in the department.
It was a dream come true for the 11-year-old Warsaw, Indiana boy who has had an incredibly tough six months since doctors discovered a craniopharyngioma, a brain tumor.
Following two surgeries to remove the baseball sized mass, the Price family came here to the Northwestern Proton Center in July for two dozen treatments to remove what remained.
Childlife specialist Aileen Maxwell says keeping Drake spirits up was her focus from Day One.
“It’s a lot to ask of anyone, let alone a kid or a teen, to come here every day smile on their face ready to do treatment,” she says.
And all it took was a simple letter. After learning of Drake’s love of police officers and his assortment of department patches, she reached out looking to boost his collection.
“I sent the letter out to about five different departments - local, nothing crazy – and the next thing you know I’m getting phone calls, packages, emails, from around the country really.”
Her five letters quickly were passed to departments across the U.S.
After each of his treatments, Drake gets a special package and to date, visits from 10 different local departments.
On this day there was a fun adventure for he and his brother Jeyden and sister Chastity. They also got a spot on the department.
Drake has over 2,000 badges and counting. It is a small distraction to the tough treatment he undergoes five days a week.