A boy with a rare genetic disorder that affects his eyesight was able to live out his dream Friday when he became a SWAT deputy in East Los Angeles.
Shortly after he was born, Steven Pulido, 6, was diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) and childhood cerebral ALD, a rare genetic disorder that destroys the protective covering surrounding the brain's nerve cells, preventing them from doing their job: allowing us to think and control our muscles.
Steven has undergone several treatments that have failed, officials said.
Steven’s mother, Christel Franco, said the disorder could affect her son’s vision and hearing and could even leave him to a vegetative state.
“It's a nightmare," she said. “It's something that no parent should have to go through.”
Steven met with a nonprofit that helps families in similar circumstances while he was at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles last week. That's when officials learned of his desire to be in law enforcement.
With the help of Team Doryan, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Bureau and the Special Enforcement Bureau were contacted to help Steven’s dream come true.
The boy got to wear a SWAT uniform, headgear and equipment Friday. He received rappel training and spent time with deputies who have different duties with the sheriff’s department.
"I think it made our dreams come true as much or more than his,” said Capt. Jack Ewell. “It was very heartwarming to be able to do something for anyone who is in his position."
Franco said that seeing her son become a SWAT deputy made her “heart happy."