Family collects police patches for sick boy aspiring to be an officer

WARSAW, IN (WANE) — A young boy from Indiana who wants to be police officer was hospitalized after doctors discovered a brain tumor. Now his family members are rallying support from law enforcement officials across the country to help them make a special quilt.

In February, 11-year-old Drake Price was diagnosed with a brain tumor and taken to Riley Hospital for Children. Drake endured a 13 hour brain surgery to have it removed.

Drake’s Aunt, Michelle Harlan, said doctors were able to remove most of the benign tumor but had to leave “a shade of grass” of the tumor on his pituitary gland. Drake will have to undergo radiation treatment to get rid of what’s left.

The weekend he was admitted to the hospital he told the doctors and staff about his dreams of becoming a police officer when he “grows up.” Harlan, whose husband works for the Kendallville Police Department, began asking for police patches to make a quilt for him as he goes through treatment.

“With my husband being a police officer of course I was very proud of that moment,” said Harlan. “I just started reaching out to local law enforcement, friends, police wives.”

Harlan said there has been an outpouring of support from police agencies across the country. Many sending patches, letters, stickers and other memorabilia to the little boy determined to wear one of those patches one day. While in recovery, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department visited Drake, Harlan said.

“He would give the officers a little smile and a thumbs up,” she said.

The IMPD also game with gifts: a t-shirt, a baseball cap and an IMPD patch. It would be one of many more patches to come. So far Harlan said the family has received about 50 patches already and there’s more on the way.

“We’re just going to take what we can and make a big quilt,” said Harlan. “If we have some left over that don’t fit on the quilt we’re going to make pillow shams out of them.”

Harlan said the response has been overwhelming.

“Our family has just been so blessed and we are so humbled by all the people reaching out to us,” she said. “I think it’s also going to encourage him to fight and be Drake strong. That’s kind of his motto for this fight of the brain tumor.”

Drake is still at Riley’s and is reportedly improving a little bit each day. If you want updates on Drake’s recovery, his family has created a Facebook page called Drake Strong.

Please send any and all patches to:
Michelle Harlan
420 Drake Road
Kendallville, IN 46755 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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