APPLETON (NBC 26) — For 13-year-old Chance Van Stippen, Friday was a special day.
“It’s the best day of his life, it’s written all over his face,” said Shayla Van Stippen, Chance’s mom.
Chance has spent the last year battling brain cancer.
“He's genuinely the strongest kid that I know and I'm not just saying that 'cause he’s my kid, every parent thinks that of their own child, but he just doesn’t complain, he keeps a smile on,” said Shayla.
Tragedy struck again for the Van Stippens in the fall when they lost their home to a fire.
“All you could see was the flames and then very thick black smoke,” said Shayla.
But on Friday, Chance got to live out his dream job!
“Chance's dream job is to be a police officer, he’s wanted to be a police officer since he was three years old,” said Shayla.
The day started with him becoming a sworn-in officer of the Menasha Police Department.
“We are excited and honored that he chose us to be an honorary member of our department,” said Nick Thorn, Menasha police chief.
Chance spent the afternoon at the public safety training center. Today his spirits were high.
“You can just see how proud he feels, and it just feels amazing as a mom to witness him doing something he’s always wanted to do,” said Shayla.
But not all days are this way…
“I try to believe with him… whatever he believes, I believe, and if he thinks he could do it,” said Shayla.
But according to Shayla, it’s Chance’s strength and a smile that gets them through this.
“Chance's will to live and his positivity is surely what keeps me going, seeing his strength is what keeps me going,” said Shayla.
The Menasha police and surrounding departments made this day possible.
“Officer Gallagher is how this came about, it’s his police liaison officer… who brought it to the chief and lieutenant's attention and they took it over, dove right in, and planned this whole day,” said Shayla.
The Van Stippen family is extremely grateful for the outpour of help from the community.
“It's the best to see how he affects other people’s lives, and the smiles he brings to them, it’s the best feeling, he’s genuinely a great kid,” said Shayla.
The family is taking donations to their GoFundMe.