LA HABRA (CBSLA.com) — The La Habra Police Department helped a cancer-stricken father attend his son’s eighth-grade graduation on Wednesday.
“I know he doesn’t have much time left, so I want him to have as much memories with me as he can,” 14-year-old Sean Casale said.
Sean’s father, John, is a police academy graduate who is battling stage IV cancer.
La Habra police traffic officers helped to arrange an ambulance to get John to Washington Middle School.
The traffic officers then escorted the proud father to the school.
John’s stretcher was wheeled under a tent on campus to keep him comfortable in the shade during the ceremony.
“We’re all very emotional. Being a policeman is a special thing. It’s a bond, it’s a brotherhood. We consider John one of our brothers. He’s a member of this community,” La Habra police Sgt. Jim Tigner said.
After Sean accepted his diploma, the father and son took a moment to share the achievement before John was whisked away.
The struggle to get John to his graduation will never be forgotten by Sean.
“I love you, dad. Thank you for attending my graduation. It meant everything to me. It really gave me some motivation. It taught me a lot of things, like never quit. If you have a dream, just go for it,” Sean said.
The officers later gathered around John’s bed and had him report to duty over the radio.
While words are hard for John right now, he didn’t hold back with his son.
“I’m proud of you,” he told Sean.
“I love you, dad,” Sean said.