South Florida officers help Indiana boy diagnosed with cancer collect police patches

(WSVN) - A Miami-Dade Police dispatcher stepped up in a major way to help a 12-year-old boy diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Jeremiah Derks from Kokomo, Indiana always wanted to be a police officer.

And so came the idea to collect police patches from coast to coast to comfort him during his battle with cancer.

“I feel like that those cops are here with me,” said Derks. “They’re friendly. They’re really just pretty much heroes to everybody.”

After the nationwide APB was sent, Derks was flooded with patches of every size and color from police departments across the country, including South Florida’s own Miami-Dade Police.

“I was like, ‘Yes!'” said Derks about getting the patches.

Annabel Lee, a long-time Miami-Dade Police dispatcher, heard about Derks’ call for patches.

Lee did what she does best and dispatched the call.

“Within minutes, I started getting comments and posts, phone calls and texts from all sorts of officers asking me exactly what I needed, what I wanted,” Lee said.

Officers from all over the county answered Lee’s call and collected everything they could for Derks.

“She went all out, and all the officers went all out and just put that package together, and it was just amazing,” said the 12-year-old’s mother, Alisha Derks.

Officers collected various items from a rare Super Bowl badge to medals, awards, undercover gear, letters of support and encouragement, as well as patches.

Even a homemade flag was delivered to Derks among all of the items sent.

“They don’t have to do these things, but they do do these things because they care,” said Derks.

Along with all the mail support, officers from all over also stopped by to personally spend time with the very grateful and optimistic 12-year-old.

“Whenever they’re here, they help me remember that I’m gonna get better,” said Derks.

As he continues his regular chemotherapy treatments, Derks’ family hopes to get an update on the status of the cancer in a few months.

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.