‘Dream come true’: Terminally-ill 10-year-old boy joins police force in Ukraine
Wearing a custom-made police uniform, 10-year-old Oleksandr Andriychuk, who is terminally ill with brain cancer, enrolled in his local police force in western Ukraine this week in a special ceremony in front of his home and spent a day on patrol.
The chance to become a police officer was a dream come true for Oleksandr, who according to his mother has only days to live.
Oleksandr lives with his mother and sister in the town of Chernivtsi, in a shelter for women and children. Marta Levchenko, who runs the shelter, had written a Facebook post about Oleksandr's wish, asking for help to make it come true.
"We knew that this child has a dream and is waiting for a miracle to happen," Levchenko said.
"I am impressed that so many police officers from all over Ukraine replied to my Facebook post, they asked where the child lives. They sewed a uniform with a badge for Andriychuk."
On Monday, Oleksandr was surprised as a parade of police cars and vans drove up in the snow outside the shelter as he watched from a window.
Officers stood in rows clapping and saluting the boy, gave him a toy police car and pinned a badge on his chest in a special ceremony. They loaded his wheelchair into a police van so that he could go on his first patrol.
"We are ready to do everything possible and not let him go because he is such a good kid," said Levchenko.