Heroes and Cops Against Childhood Cancer
My name is Damon Cole and I am a full time Police Officer in Fort Worth, Texas. I have been a police officer since 1999, and during the course of my career I have dealt with countless children. It is important to keep in mind that when I am dealing with them as a police officer, it is not always in a good light. So I wanted to try and make a positive impact on the children that I come in contact with through my work. Every child should know that a police officer is always there to help them get through anything. The best way to get this message across to them is to build up a trusting relationship with them. So around 13 years ago I had the Superman logo sewn on my bulletproof vest and that way whenever I was dealing with a child on a call for service, I would tell them a secret but they would have to promise me “that you will not tell anybody.” I then make them pinky promise me to keep the secret. I would then undo my shirt so that it exposes my Superman logo on my bulletproof vest. At this point the children go crazy, and they usually ask me where my cape is. I tell them that I cannot wear it with my uniform because it will get wrinkled. From that moment on that child will always remember me and that can make it easier for me to help them in the long run, because they trust me.
In 2012 while working for Dallas Police Department, I started dressing up as Superman doing different community events and going to local hospitals. In April of 2015, I learned of a 7-year-old boy named Bryce Schottel who has cancer. Bryce lives in Smithton, Illinois, and he is a very big Superman fan. As soon as I learned about all of this, I just knew I had to make the trip up there to see him. I used three vacation days from work and I hopped in my Superman Charger and I made the 11 hour drive to go and see him. I went to his elementary school first as Iron Man and I took pictures with all the children and the staff who where at his school. I then went to Bryce's house dressed as Superman, where I met with him and his dad. Bryce was smiling from ear to ear. I showed him my Superman car and I gave him some Superman stuff. I then gave him one of my extra Superman capes and he loved it. He immediately put it on and he didn't want to take it off. I spent several hours with Bryce and I even dressed up as Iron Man for him. We then played video games for a little bit and I wish I could say I let him win, but he really did beat me so many times. I left his house and went to a fundraiser that the local police department was putting on for Bryce and his family. I dressed up as Iron Man and I had my Superman Charger on display. I spent several hours there until I left to head back to Fort Worth, Texas. It was such a great experience to see how happy I had made him and his family, and that is when I knew that I had found my calling. Ever since then, I will go anywhere to see any child, so I can have the same impact on them as I did with Bryce and his family.
My goal is to go anywhere in the world to see any sick child that wants to see me. I currently have been to 17 different states. I currently dress up as the following superheroes:
Batman (The Dark Knight & Dawn of Justice)
Optimus Prime from Transformers
Bumblebee from Transformers
Baymax from Big Hero 6
The Incredible Hulk
Armored Batman from Dawn of Justice (Batman vs Superman)
Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I am very picky about all my costumes and I want them to look as real as possible. I want to have a lasting impression on every child that I meet. The children I go see always ask me how am I all these different superheroes, I tell them that in the movies they make it look like all the different superheroes are different people but in real life it is just one person (me). They child will than ask me if I can show them my super powers and I tell them I wish I could but I can’t. I tell them if I show off my super powers that they will get taken away from me. I can only use my super powers to fight crime. I give every child I go see an arm band with “Heroes and Cops Against Childhood Cancer” on it. I tell them that it has super powers on it and it will help them beat cancer or whatever illness they are dealing with but they have to do one thing for me. I than tell them that they can NEVER GIVE UP, they have to keep fighting for me.
If you have a child that has cancer or any other illness and you want me to come see them, all you have to do is send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes I will go and see adults and teenagers as well.
Just please remember that everything that I do, ALL of this is done on my own time and my own money. My police department does not pay me to do what I do so anytime I go see a child during my work hours; I have to use my vacation time to do it. I also have a 10 year old daughter Savannah myself and she is my world. I do have my police department badge and patch on my costumes because I want everyone to know that I am a police officer and it helps me build a trusting relationship with them. If I learn of a terminally ill child that wants to see me, I will drop what I am doing to make that happen as quickly as possible. I will tell you a secret about police officers that everyone seems to forget, “We are no different than anyone else. “
This is my mission statement “I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, because of you I didn’t give up.” Be the reason someone smiles today.