Three-Year-Old Boy Fights Bad Guys and Cancer

sick child
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Wyatt Schmaltz is a charming three-year-old boy. Like many other boys, he likes to pretend he’s a policeman and enjoys placing his brothers in “jail.”  

There's a new sheriff in town …

Except, instead of running rampant through hallways and backyards as children often do, Wyatt is in a hospital bed at Indiana University Health’s Riley Hospital for Children.

According to this article, “Wyatt was diagnosed in April with the aggressive cancer, which has spread past his abdomen into his bones and marrow. He has been undergoing arduous chemotherapy every two weeks since, with abdominal surgery and a stem-cell transplant on the horizon.”

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Wyatt’s strength and courage captured the heart of Huntington County Sheriff Terry Stoffel, who runs a camp “dedicated to teaching children skills related to law enforcement and public safety”; and Stoffel decided to name Wyatt an honorary camp member and Camp Hero. But when Wyatt, who is receiving treatment for stage 4 neuroblastoma, came down with an infection that landed him back in the hospital, Stoffel traveled two hours to make things official.

Wyatt was sworn in as the nation's youngest sheriff deputy while more than 200 campers and town sheriff’s watched online, via Skype. He was even given an official badge and uniform.

“As a special deputy, he's responsible for only the tasks that are assigned to him through that statute,” Stoffel said. “And his orders, his marching orders, are to get better and keep living his life to the fullest.”

While our children are young, we watch them play out many various roles. They portray ballerinas, doctors, cowboys, rock stars, major league sports players, and scientists. As parents, we wonder which playtime characters will stand the test of time. Will she still heal animals and enjoy cooking as an adult? Does he have what it takes to become a chief medical expert? We never take a moment to consider whether or not they will live long enough to see their dreams turn into reality.

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When I hear stories like this, I find some comfort in knowing that there are parents out there, struggling as their children fight for their health and dreams, who are able to watch these dreams become real. And I wish there was something more we could do to help.

What does your child want to be when he/she grows up?  


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Three-Year-Old Boy Fights Bad Guys and Cancer

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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