By Jacqueline Quynh

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Six-year-old Kayson was born a warrior, he’s been dealing with cancer since he was in diapers, but on Friday, he took on a new challenge, protecting the waters, as a police boat captain.

“I know this is going to be your maiden voyage as a captain so this is your boat here,” North Miami Police Chief Larry Juriga said to his newest officer.

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Chief Juriga considered the opportunity to make Kayson’s wish come true critically important, calling it part of the fabric of what law enforcement is about.

“1 year, only 1,” Kayson’s mom, Araibis Diaz said.

Her son has been living with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that starts in nerve cells, for most of his life. His initial diagnosis was at stage 4.

“He’s had multiple chemotherapy more than we can count, he’s had multiple surgeries, he’s relapsed to the brain and had recent brain surgery in 2018 and he just relapsed last month,” Silvia Vanni, Mystic Force Foundation Exec. Director said.

Kayson’s family told CBS 4 he loves to be out on the water and thinks police officers are pretty cool, hence the wish to be a police boat captain.

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“Police!” Kayson said excitedly.

To put a huge smile on Kayson’s face the North Miami Police Department along with local agencies dubbed him Captain Kayson for the day.

“We’re so proud of him we’re going to be supportive of him throughout his whole ordeal,” Chief Juriga said.

The American Cancer Society predicted in 2021, 10,500 children under the age of 15 would be diagnosed with some form of cancer. It’s a statistic that has been rising in recent years, though 84% now survive 5 years or more.

“He will start chemotherapy and radiation this week,” Vanni added.

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And happy memories like those created this Friday could help young warriors like Kayson carry on through the next round.

Jacqueline Quynh