Freeport Police Department/Facebook
February 7 will forever mark a special day at the Freeport, Texas Police Department. On that day in 2019, six-year-old Abigail Rose Arias was sworn in as an honorary police officer. “[I want to catch] even the people that are speeding. I kind of get nervous, but I never give up,” Abigail told KHOU 11.
In 2017, Abigail was diagnosed with cancer. Doctors found a stage four Wilms Tumor wrapped around the young girl’s aorta. After 80 rounds of chemotherapy that nearly killed her due to an allergic reaction, doctors were able to shrink and remove the tumor.
The cancer lay in remission for five months until it suddenly spread to both lungs. In November 2018, doctors told Abigail’s parents that there weren’t any more treatments or chemotherapy available that could help her at that point. Abigail’s condition was terminal.
That Christmas, the Arias family met Freeport Police Chief Ray Garivey. As the family bonded, Garivey found out Abigail’s dream. “She [said] I want to be a police officer. I looked back at her dad and said she probably shouldn’t have told me that. He kind of winked at me and I said we’re going to make that happen,” Garivey said.
Dozens of community members banded together to donate a custom-sized uniform and police patches for Abigail’s special day. Her main objective was to get a badge, which would give her license to defeat bad guys – especially the cancerous ones in her body. “They beat up my body. So I want to help the bad guys go away. I want to help this cancer, in like, 5 seconds,” Abigail said.
During her swearing-in ceremony, before he handed her her badge, Garivey — through tears — asked Abigail to repeat after him: “I now and forever promise to keep fighting the bad guys until all of my cancer is gone.”