10-year-old battling brain cancer named honorary Texas officer
What Kyle Murray lacks in age he more than makes up for in courage
By Valerie Wigglesworth
The Dallas Morning News
FRISCO, Texas — Frisco's newest police officer is only 10 years old.
But what Kyle Murray lacks in age he more than makes up for in courage.
Kyle was diagnosed at age 3 with brain cancer. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation for the medulloblastoma. For five years, he was cancer-free. Last July, Kyle developed a secondary form of brain cancer called anaplastic astrocytoma.
It's a radiation-induced cancer, said his mother, Elizabeth Murray of Frisco. "We've stopped treatment because it wasn't really helping," she said. "The treatment was more damaging than the cancer itself."
On Thursday, as police and fire were honored around the country on the anniversary of 9/11, Frisco's first responders honored Kyle.
He wore a custom-made police uniform with his name stitched over the right front pocket. A squad car picked him and his family up at a friend's home. They received a motorcade escort to the police station.
There, Police Chief John Bruce issued the oath to the honorary officer. Kyle was overwhelmed by the large crowd of uniformed officers, detectives and other staff who turned out for his swearing-in ceremony. He received a standing ovation.
The chief issued him badge No. 173.
"It's pretty cool that he got sworn in as an officer," his 15-year-old brother, Campbell, said.
Kyle got a brief tour and a look at the SWAT vehicle. The motorcade, with lights flashing, then escorted Kyle to Frisco's Central Fire Station. The whiteboard in the firehouse kitchen listed Kyle as one of the two firefighters on Engine 1 of the B shift.
Kyle also visited Frisco Fire Safety Town for the first time. The mini-town hosts safety classes and other children's programming. At the town's mini fire station, Fire Chief Mark Piland presented Kyle with his own custom-made fire uniform and badge.
Countless volunteers had a hand in Kyle's special day.
Hilton Butler, who worked his last day as a crisis negotiator for Frisco police on Thursday, met Kyle and his family through his nonprofit, the Butler Family Foundation. The foundation trains multipurpose service dogs for people with disabilities. Butler connected the family with the police department.
Kyle's family said they were trying to introduce him to different occupations.
"He's a very service-oriented person," his mother said, adding that police officer is just the kind of job she could see him doing. But Kyle doesn't have much time left, she said.
"He deserves to be a police officer because that's how brave he is," Bruce said.
The community support has been wonderful, said Kyle's dad, Chad Murray. "You don't ever think this many people care," he said. "He's going to be talking about it for months."
As Kyle was leaving, police Sgt. Brad Merritt invited him to come back and visit the police station and the fire house anytime.
"You're one of us now," he said.
Copyright 2014 The Dallas Morning News