HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Young cancer patients from around the United States have been given a week-long vacation in Southern California.
Sunshine Kids, a nonprofit organization, brought 27 children to Los Angeles to experience positive group activities.
The Los Angeles Police Department, which has partnered with the organization for the past eight years, sworn in the kids as honorary officers.
“These young people who way too early in age are having to deal with something that nobody should have to do with, so their courage is inspirational to everybody,” Chief Charlie Beck said.
Beck ate lunch Wednesday with the participants at a sound stage at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.
“It’s exciting and I think we deserve it because of what we’ve been through, what we’re still going through,” Nicolas Serrano said.
Serrano, 18, is battling lymphoma.
“There’s no good way to describe how we feel, but other people who have cancer automatically know how we feel,” he added.
Akira Gwinn, who has been in remission for a year, agrees her friends in in the program know her better than those at home.
“I feel like a normal human being here,” Gwinn said.
Actor G.W. Bailey, best known for his role in “Police Academy”, has been part of the Sunshine Kids for two decades after he lost his goddaughter to cancer.
“It takes them away from literally the pain from what they are having to deal with,” Bailey said.
The trip, which is paid for by donors, includes visits to Disneyland, Malibu and Universal Studios.