Over 250 police officers from Massachusetts and New England are driving their vehicles to Virginia in a massive convoy to hand deliver holiday cards to a boy suffering from brain and spinal chord tumors.
On Wednesday morning, officers from the Boston, Braintree, and Burlington police departments, along with dozens of others from around the state, and New England, set out on their journey to visit 5-year-old Nathan Norman, a young boy diagnosed with cancer three years ago.
For Christmas this year, Nathan told his parents that he wanted to receive Christmas cards from cops, firefighters and EMT’s. His wish quickly went viral and holiday cards started to arrive from all over.
But area law enforcement agencies decided to take Nathan’s wish for cards one step further.
Riding in more than 90 cruisers, authorities left Massachusetts around 6 a.m. with cards in hand to surprise Nathan.
“He’s going through something that grown men and women couldn’t go through. And I think maybe at the end of the day he may be more of an inspiration to us than we will be to him,” Burlington Police Sgt. McDonough, who orchestrated the convoy, told NECN in a recent interview.
McDonough has been organizing the surprise visit with the boy’s parents. Officers will meet Nathan on Thursday to deliver the Christmas gifts.
The large stream of vehicles has captured the attention of people all over the state.
“I lost count because there were so many, and they were all different types. They passed in several waves, I counted more than 20 in one of them. State Troopers, local cops, and even BPD that far out of the city,” they said.
Burlington Police have been tweeting their journey to Virginia using the hashtag #CardsForNathan, snapping photos as they head to the hospital to meet Nathan. By 10 a.m. on Wednesday, after passing through Newtown, Connecticut, where the deadly shooting that claimed the lives of 20 children occurred last Friday, police were trying to get the hashtag trending.
The card-delivery campaign has been part of a national trend, and even Boston Police got involved.
Last Tuesday, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis and several members of the department gathered outside BPD Headquarters for a special request group photo to be used in a Christmas card for Nathan.
The effort has been well-received by those following the officers on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as the cops capture the adventure along the way.
“I’ve been following this trip as it has come together,” one person wrote on the Burlington Police Facebook page. “You are all HEROES, not only to Nathan and his family, but also to me and the rest of us who can’t make the trip. Truly some of law enforcement’s finest. Thank you.”