Six-year-old Madison Pruitt has wanted to be a Chicago police officer for almost as long as she’s been alive. And just when she was about to make her inaugural trip to the Chicago police department, little Madison felt too weak and sick due to a rare muscular cancer she’s been battling for more than a year.
“Her spirits are well, but she’s doing pretty poorly at this point,” said Sgt. Ernest Bradley, of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy. Dozens of Chicago’s finest had prepared a welcome party for their newest recruit.
Instead of disappointing their biggest fan, the officers brought the welcome party to Madison.
In all, more than 70 officers paraded over to Madison’s home where she had been receiving hospice care. Some officers even arrived atop patrol horses to bolster the surprise.
“She is declining, so we wanted to try setup things for her while we could,” Madison’s hospice worker Lindsay Wooster said.
“I never imagined that it would be this much,” Wooster added. “It’s pretty incredible.”
Before it was all over, Interim Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had one more surprise for little Madison; he presented her with an Award of Valor.
“It’s just amazing the courage she’s showing today,” Johnson said. “That gives us pause to think about our own mortality and families. That’s the reason we do what we do.”
When asked why she dreamed of one day becoming a police officer, Madison said, “Because you get to protect people.”
Madison’s grandmother, Pamlor Nelson, said she never thought the police would do so much for her granddaughter.