For Julian Cardenas, a 13-year-old battling leukemia, the chance to be an Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy for a day was thrilling.
Julian got to participate in target practice with SWAT officers and ride along with Los Angeles County firefighters in the City of Industry on Wednesday.
But he said his favorite part was being in a helicopter. It was a welcome break from chemotherapy and hospital rooms.
“When I get my chemo I feel really nauseous and stuff, but thanks to the nurses, they treat me really well,” Julian said.
Complications from Julian's illness have been tough on him, but his sister, Odalys Cardenas, said being a deputy for a day gave him something to look forward to.
She said he was “over the moon excited.”
“The only thing on our schedule is doctor’s appointments, labs and procedures every other day,” Odalys Cardenas said.
The special day was organized by Detective Marianne Oliver who responded a medical call at Julian’s house in May.
“He was having difficulty breathing because he was hyperventilating,” Oliver said.
Her nephew also has leukemia and she wanted to help cheer Julian up.
"I told my captain, hey can I bring them to the station, give him a tour maybe take him in the patrol car?" Oliver said.
Different departments donated a collection of souvenirs and challenge coins to the 13-yaer-old in hopes the items "would show Julian how much he touched their hearts, and quietly give him encouragement and support on the harder days of his medical, emotional and physical challenges," the Sheriff's Department stated in a post on Facebook.