New Castle County Police Capt. Angel De Jesus Zamora was the guest of honor Tuesday at Carousel Park & Equestrian Center in Pike Creek.
The 5-year-old – accompanied by his parents, Jose and Sandra Zamora, and 11-year-old sister Anita – had dreamed of becoming a policeman before he was diagnosed in February with terminal brain cancer.
In addition to fulfilling the little boy’s dream, complete with a miniature county police uniform and special badge, the event was intended to help public fundraising to cover his parents’ expenses, said Col. E.M. Setting, chief of police.
After a motorcade with sirens and flashing lights escorted the family from their home in Richardson Park near Newport, county police in unit formations greeted him at the park, where they also showed him their K-9 units, motorcycles and other equipment.
Although Angel is so weakened that his mother carried him at the event, his parents said he was the most alert and interactive he has been in some time – especially seeing horses of the Mounted Patrol Unit.
“We are honored to have had the opportunity to make this a special day for Angel and his family,” said County Executive Thomas P. Gordon, who read a proclamation bestowing his honorary rank of captain. “We also encourage residents to help his family in this difficult time with whatever donations they can afford as well as their prayers.”
The request for prayers was echoed in a handmade sign that Angel’s sister Anita made and carried at the event. .
The Make-A-Wish Foundation reached out to New Castle County Police to fulfill Angel’s dream of being a policeman, saying he suffers from an extremely rare type of childhood cancer that affects the brainstem – called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma – also noting most children survive only months after diagnosis and there is no known cure. His is the same type of cancer that claimed the life of the 3-year-old daughter of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.
Donations for the Zamora family are being accepted at www.gofundme.com/26atefpv to help with Angel’s medical bills as well as the family’s travel, food and normal living expenses that would be covered if not for his father’s missed work.
The donation page says the family will “ever give up hope for a miracle.”
But it adds that “we can band together to fill whatever time Angel De Jesus may have left in this life with a tremendous outpouring of love for him and for his family.”