(NEW YORK) — A 7-year-old New Jersey boy who made key chains for police officers while recovering from a brain tumor was named an honorary cop Thursday.
Darien Hoefling got a superhero’s welcome from police officers with the Mount Holly Township Police Department. The officers wore superhero shirts underneath their uniforms in honor of Darien, who thinks of the officers as his superheroes.
The first-grader was diagnosed with a brain tumor last summer, according to ABC Philadelphia station WPVI-TV. While recovering from two surgeries, Darien made personalized key chains for the town’s police force.
“When he came to the police station to give us these key chains, I was just in awe; like he’s unbelievable,” Officer Debbie Brewer told WPVI. “Once I met him, I knew why everybody loved him so much.”
Darien wore a superhero cape that read “Super Darien 1, Brain Tumor 0,” during his honorary swearing-in.
“I had fun with all the police officers,” Darien told WPVI, adding that he is now going to “keep Mount Holly safe, too.”
Neither the police department nor the boy’s family has responded to ABC News’ requests for comment.
But Darren’s father, Kyle Hoefling, told WPVI the boy is his hero.
“I want to be like him. It’s the only way to put it,” Hoefling said. “I always wanted to be his hero, but he’s now become mine.”
Darren is legally blind but still makes the honor roll at his school. The newly minted cop now plans to sell his homemade key chains for charity.
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