Most people can’t imagine wanting to take a ride in a police car but four-year-old Abby Rogers was thrilled to be able to hop into a Lake Stevens Police vehicle and ride down Main Street as part of the Aquafest Parade.
Abby will also get to be the honorary ‘Chief for a Day’ on August 18, as she and her family ride in a motorcade with Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori and Officer Cindy Brooks, on their way to Qwest Field for a day of fun and surprises.
After suffering from an earache when she was only three-years-old, Abby’s mom Tracy Rogers, took her to the doctor.
The doctors thought she looked a little pale so they took a blood test and sent her on her way.
Later that day, the doctor’s office called the Rogers and told them to take Abby to Children’s Hospital immediately, that she needed a blood transfusion.
“She had an earache, we figured she just had an ear infection,” mom Tracy said. “When we showed up at Children’s they said ‘you’re the leukemia patient’, we were shocked.”
That was on March 3, 2009. That is when little Abby began her two-year journey through cancer treatments, which will continue until May of next year.
“The hardest part is that I can’t eat on sleepy room days. At first it was hard to take my medicine. I had a tube in my nose that hurt,” Abby said. “Now I take pills like a big girl.”
Meanwhile, Officer Cindy Brooks was hoping to participate in the Chief for a Day program, which is about celebrating the lives of children who have been diagnosed with a life threatening illness.
It is a one-day event in which a child 3-12 years of age who has a life threatening or chronic medical condition gets to be the “Police Chief” for a day. The event is held at the Criminal Justice Training Commission in Burien. Brooks wanted to find a child from Lake Stevens that the department could honor and basically take under their wing.
After notifying local daycare centers, Brooks found Abby. That was in January of this year.
“I was hoping to find a local kid,” Brooks explained. “I went to our local daycares and people who worked with children. She was actually referred by her daycare provider.”
In Western Washington there are over 20 kids who will be participating in the August 18 event which includes the motorcade, gifts, a bouncy house, food and fun.
“There are actually 21 kids being sponsored in Western Washington with more agencies helping to raise funds,” Brooks said.
Since January, Abby has not only lead the Aquafest Parade but has taken a tour of the Lake Stevens Police Department, gotten her own uniform, gone to the City Picnic and has even been showered with birthday and Easter gifts from the LSPD.
“I liked riding in the car with Cindy,” Abby said. “I had fun waving at people and seeing Thomas, Daniel and Miss Leah (people I know).”
Abby is currently cancer free but she still continues to go through the two-year treatment plan which includes daily doses of chemotherapy, a quarterly spinal tap and monthly trips to the hospital for chemotherapy treatments through her stint.
“She is doing great. She’s been a good patient and a good person through all of it,” Rogers said. “She let’s the doctors do what they have to do and doesn’t complain.” Abby even asked Brooks to go with her to one of her treatments.
“I felt pretty honored to be able to go there. You can try to imagine what they’re going through but to go to their treatments it gives you a whole new perspective that you would otherwise not get.” Brooks said. “Even though it is Abby going through the treatments, the whole family has been affected. They are an amazing family. Her mom is really positive.”
Having friends in the police department has been a fun change for the Rogers who said that they’ve never had any reason to deal with the police in the past, good or otherwise.
“It’s been great getting to know Cindy and her husband (Sergeant) Ron Brooks. It’s been nice to have someone looking out for us,” Rogers said. “I’m amazed that people do this much for you just because they want to.”
The Rogers to have also received Mariners tickets and were able to go a game before Dad Todd was shipped out on the USS Lincoln last month. They were also given a weekend stay at Great Wolf Lodge.
“She loved that and it was the best thing for her,” Rogers said.
Lucky for Abigail, she also has her big sister Alexis to look out for her.
“Alexis gets a little jealous that Abby gets more attention but she is very caring towards her sister. If anyone made fun of her she would stick up for her and look after her sister,” Rogers said.
After months of star treatment the best is yet to come with the Chief for a Day event coming up in two weeks.
“She knows she is going to be Police Chief and go down to their training center. She is very excited,” Rogers said.
“I want to see the police dogs,” Abby said. “I also want to wear my new black shoes with my uniform.”