Sometimes police officers save people from criminals. Thursday, they may have helped save a family from despair.
Six-year-old Jacob Schwartz has osteosarcoma. The cancer of the bone has already claimed one of his legs.
“Osteosarcoma is infamous for taking a child piece by piece, usually you lose a limb as Jacob did,” said Helen Schwartz, Jacob’s mom.
“Honestly, it’s been so inspiring, so beautiful, I never met such a kid who has such a bright light in him, he’s positive literally every single day despite the circumstances, so it’s really changed my perspective on things,” said Jacob’s kindergarten teacher, Allie Webb.
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Thursday was Jacob’s last day at school before his next major surgery Friday at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. So the Miami Police Department gave him a surprise send-off, with a dozen motormen providing the roaring engines, and four mounted officers showing off their horses.
Jacob, his kindergarten classmates at iPrep Academy, and his prosecutor mom and police officer dad could not have been more impressed and appreciative.
“To see all of this, is amazing,” said Kevin Schwartz, Jacob’s dad and a corporal with the Biscayne Park Police Department.
“You know when you feel like the bottom’s fallen out, to be able to have your blue family back you, support you, it gives you hope that you’re gonna get through and it does wonders for Jacob’s mental attitude, it gives him strength to fight,” Helen Schwartz said.
Jacob’s parents want the world to know that only 4% of cancer research involves childhood cancers.
“All of these research facilities, all of these scientists, these brilliant minds, and we’re dedicating a minuscule grain of sand to the kids,” Kevin Schwartz said.
Here’s the grim reality in all of this: Jacob’s cancer has metastasized to his lungs, so doctors say at this point, he only has a 20% chance of living another five years.
“So, that doesn’t mean he can’t beat it, there are plenty of people who are doing it every single day,” Helen Schwartz said.
I asked Jacob’s dad where he finds the strength to be optimistic.
“There’s no other choice,”Kevin Schwartz said. “He’s my son, I’m not gonna lose my son.”
Jacobs can’t comprehend the statistics or the probabilities. He’s just a little boy who’s enjoying his life, with a little help from a lot of friends.