Move over CSI, there is a new crime scene investigator in town. With help from the Bellevue Police Department, Microsoft and Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington, 13-year-old Gage was recently transformed from an average kid, into a crime stopping super cop. It's all in two day's work at Make-A-Wish!
Living with an optic glioma brain tumor, Gage wished to be a police officer because, "He thought it would be fun to be a policeman because he is very interested to learn about 'all the cool things they do and arresting bad guys,'" said Jan Catey, his wish granting volunteer.
Gage's wish to be a police officer marks our chapter's first request in our 26 year history for this type of wish. Ironically, the Make-A-Wish organization was founded after another child, Chris Greicius, realized his wish to be a police officer for the day in 1980.
Adopted by Expedia, Gage's action packed two-day wish extravaganza began with a police motorcade picking him up at his home and providing him with a police issued uniform. With lights and sirens blaring, it was off to the Bellevue Police Department for a lesson with the K-9s, training in the crime lab and even shooting practice. And that was just the beginning. Lunch was interrupted with an urgent call for help as there was a burglary at Microsoft. Gage and crew were off to save the day. When the assailant was in plain sight, Gage took control of the situation like a true pro and shouted, "Come out with your hands up!" This crime stopper later shared that this was the highlight of his entire wish experience.
After one day on the job, Gage was exhausted so it was time to turn into the Bellevue Hyatt Hotel where he and his family were treated like VIPs to an overnight stay.
The next morning, they awoke energized and ready to roll on day two of his wish. Once again picked up by police motorcade, Gage had no idea what was in store for him. Despite his sight limitations, "he made it very clear that he wanted to try everything the police do," said Jan. Including riding in a police helicopter.
Touching down at Marymoor Park, Gage was escorted, via police motorcade, to the Walk for Wishes 5k walk and fun run fundraiser where throngs of supporters were waiting to cheer him on. After a presentation by the Bellevue Police Color Guard, Chief Linda Pillo named him an honorary police officer. The induction ceremony wasn't complete without pinning on his badge which is numbered 1980 in honor of Chris Greicius, the very first wish child. A bagpiper then played a song that brought chills to spines and tears rolling down cheeks.
At the end of the day, when asked what the best part about his wish was, Gage smiled and said, "Knowing that it will live on forever."
Special thanks: Wish granting volunteers Jan Catey and Leigh Hunt, Henry Alva, Bellevue Hyatt Hotel, Bellevue Police Department, Bellevue Starbucks, Blumenthal's, Everett QFC, King County Sheriff's Officer, Mill Creek Multimedia, Chief of Police Pillo, Rock Bottom Brewery and Tri Film Productions.