Seventeen-year-old Clayton Dalton dreams of becoming an Austin police officer.
“I’m in a family of first responders. They do the stuff I like to do...it's just in my blood,” said Dalton.
Clayton has one battle ahead of him before he does that. He is battling stage four rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer that commonly forms in children. He was diagnosed in January, after complaining of back pain.
“It's frustrating when you're 17-years-old and have hopes and dreams, everything's kind of put on hold,” said Julie Luis, Clayton’s mother.
Clayton loves to collect patches from law enforcement agencies all over. The Austin Police Department caught wind of it and began a drive, via Facebook. Little did they know, they'd get so many to hand deliver to Clayton at Dell Children’s Medical Center.
“Within two or three days, I was getting responses from Berlin, from London, some retired cops were doing security in South Korea,” said Det. Jarrett Crippen, APD.
Clayton says not everyone has always been so kind to him growing up, and this diagnosis and shown him who his true friends and loved ones really are.
“It's kind of heartbreaking that it takes this for it to happen. But it's a part of God's plan and just have to live through it,” said Dalton.
It's a tough battle to fight, but this future police officer is ready to handle any shots fired.
“The thing that gets me through is god and my family and smiling.....smilling will get you through it,” said Dalton.