Wilson Adams isn’t old enough to drive a car. He certainly can’t use a handgun.
But Weatherford Police Chief Lance Arnold said the 11-year-old, who is battling back after having a brain tumor removed, displays the sort of courage and determination every police officer should possess.
So he made Wilson an honorary reserve officer in the Weatherford Police Department (WPD) at the recent meeting of the city council on Oct. 9. He was sworn in by Municipal Court Judge Tim Galbreaith.
“I actually became a police officer,” said a beaming Wilson after the ceremony. “This is what I want to be when I grow up. I like the idea of protecting people.”
Wilson was diagnosed in May with Medulloblastoma, the most common type of pediatric brain tumor. The tumor was removed, but his treatment and recovery will take between 12 and 18 months. The treatment includes chemotherapy for five days per month up to 12 months.
The family also lost their father/husband, Daniel Adams, in September 2017 to liver cancer.
“The story, when you hear it, I don’t know if you’re human if you’re not moved,” Arnold said. “But they continue to battle, continue to demonstrate enormous courage.”
Wilson had a wish to ride in a police car before his chemotherapy began in September. Officer Paul Tumlin drove him to his first treatment session at Cook Children’s Medical Center.
“To be around someone so positive with the hand he’s been dealt, it was so encouraging,” Tumlin said. “When you meet somebody like him, it’s really uplifting.”
The trip was also educational for Wilson.
“I got to hear a lot of Officer Paul’s stories,” Wilson said with a smile.
“He’ll pop out a fact, and I’ll ask, where did that come from?” said Tamela Adams, his mother. “He’ll say, ‘I learned it from Officer Tumlin.’
“It’s above and beyond how they’ve embraced him as one of their family. It’s overwhelming, and he’s been bouncing ready for this tonight.”
Also in attendance to show their support were members of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol and Parker County REACT (Responding to Every Assault and Crisis Team), a volunteer organization that helps law enforcement provide comfort and help to those who have experienced a traumatic event.
Wilson received several gifts, including a handmade rod-and-reel, a tackle box filled with tackle, a miniature police car, and a wall plaque depicting the history of the American police officer.
Arnold said the WPD will continue to offer rides to treatments for Wilson, along with regularly checking in on the family, which also includes his 16-year-old brother, Colby, and 6-year-old sister, KariGrace. The family has also taken in a friend, 17-year-old Christian Muir.
“We’re going to be there for them from here on,” Arnold said.
With the treatments and subsequent death of Daniel, the family was devastated financially, family friend Rob Helms said. They lost their home and are now renting a mobile home in Aledo, he said.
Helms has started a GoFundMe site to take donations to help the family, including building them a home so they can use the rent to help with Wilson’s treatments, he said. Tamela is unable to work because of having to help take care of Wilson.
Along with being sworn in, Wilson wore a uniform that was donated by Blauer Manufacturing. He is, in fact, the first to wear the new all-black uniform that will soon be donned by all Weatherford officers.
“We had him try on his uniform last week, and his grin was going from ear to ear,” Arnold said.
“On behalf of the city council, Officer Adams, I’d like to congratulate you,” Mayor Craig Swancy said. “Please wear that uniform often.”