Kids & Family

Police Bring Smiles to Boy Battling Deadly Genetic Disease

When they found out he loves the men and women in blue, nothing could keep them away!


His name is Joshua Bourassa, but people who know him call him Trooper Josh. This 14-year old from New Milford, in northeastern Pennsylvania, absolutely loves everything to do with police. And it turns out our men and women in blue love him too.

Josh was born with Krabbe disease, a rare, genetic disorder of the nervous system that causes loss of muscle tone, seizures, blindness, and life-threatening breathing problems. Most children with Krabbe don't live past the age of 2, but Josh has made it to age 14 and attends Blue Ridge High School, where his infectious smile is a daily pick-me-up for fellow student and teachers alike.

According to his Facebook page, Prayers for Trooper Josh , Josh's health took a turn for the worse over Memorial Day weekend. Now he's a patient at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, waiting for surgery that right now his lungs are too weak to withstand.

To cheer him up, last week two UPMC police officers came by and gave him a patch. A Port Authority Police officer stopped to chat and the two checked out the officer's uniform and hat.

Once Pittsburgh Police found out about Josh's fascination with cops, it was no holds barred. Officers came en masse to see him and his room, decked out with all things law enforcement.

Josh was sworn in as an honorary Pittsburgh Police Commander, and got to meet the department's brand new community ambassador dog, Zane.

Sworn in as a Commander. And he got to meet Zane..... That's probably the best day ever!!!! - Lara Sees-Schob on Facebook

Josh's mom Rebecca Bourassa could barely contain herself when she wrote her thanks on the Pittsburgh Police Facebook page :

Thank you isn't even enough! I'm speechless blown away! these Officers gathered around Josh made him laugh and smile and all together prayed over him! I cant even begin to explain how much this touched me thank you!

The family is asking for prayers that Josh will get well enough to have his surgery and eventually go home.

(Images: Pittsburgh Police and Prayers for Trooper Josh Facebook pages )

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