PHOTO: When Lakewood Police Officers from the Local PBA 71 entered Manuel Betancourt’s hospital room yesterday, his face lit up. That’s because the 7 year old child has pretty much not been seeing anyone besides doctors, nurses and family for the last few months.
Manuel Betancourt is a third grade student at the Ella G. Clarke school who has been diagnosed with Leukemia. But since being at CHOP, Manuel has been diagnosed with a second form of Leukemia.
He has been at CHOP since August and his mother has been by his bedside each day. His father though has to work and help with the younger child that is still at home, and commutes to CHOP twice a week on public transportation because the family does not own a vehicle.
The officers spent weeks coordinating events and fundraisers in order to lighten the burden of the affected family.
Yesterday, with the donations in hand, the officers – together with the School Principal – made the trip to CHOP Hospital in Philadelphia to personally hand the child and his mother the donations.
“He was very excited to see us,” the visiting officers told TLS. “He’s a strong boy and hopefully he’ll pull through.”
Though tied down to a hospital bed, Manuel was excited to pose for a photo with his heroes.
Meanwhile, back at home, the students at both the Ella G. Clarke School and the Lakewood Middle School held a dress down day in Manuel’s honor.
(If anyone would like to assist the family, you can do so by reaching out to one of the above officers via the Lakewood Police Department). [TLS]