Julian Cardenas. Courtesy of Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
Julian Cardenas. Courtesy of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

A 13-year-old boy battling leukemia got to be a deputy for a day, thanks to those at the sheriff’s Industry Station.

Julian Cardenas first came to the attention of station staff on May 3 when Deputy Marianne Oliver responded to a call for service to assist the boy, according to sheriff’s Capt. Tim Murakami.

“When she met with him, she learned that, back in February, Julian experienced an unusual bout of severe back pain,” Murakami said. “Julian was examined by doctors and diagnosed with leukemia.”

After learning that Julian was struggling emotionally because his illness and treatment was keeping him from typical teen activities like “skateboarding, bicycle riding or even attending school regularly” Oliver was moved “to do something more than just handling a regular call for service,” Murakami said.

Oliver shared Julian’s story with co-workers, who came up with a plan to make the youngster a deputy for a day.

Oliver pulled up to Julian’s house today in a customized sheriff’s department Chevrolet Camaro and took him to the Industry Station, where he was sworn in by acting Assistant Sheriff Anthony La Berge.

Julian got a station tour and took a turn at supervising other deputies using a weapons training simulator before doing some training of his own with Special Enforcement Bureau Special Weapons Team, K-9 and Aero Bureau deputies. “So Julian could have some tokens to remind him of his special day in law enforcement, different LASD departments donated a collection of souvenirs and challenge coins,” Murakami said.

“The deputies were hoping these 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 day was capped with a barbecue fundraiser, the proceeds of which will support Julian and his family.

–City News Service

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