APPLETON, Wis. — Chance Van Stippen has always wanted to be a police officer. 

His mom, Shayla Van Stippen, said that’s been the case for as long as she can remember.

“It was the very first thing he ever said he wanted to do was be a police officer,” Van Stippen said. “Never once changed, not even fluctuated for two seconds.”

On Friday, he got to be a cop — at least for the day.

He was sworn in as an honorary police officer with the help of the Menasha, Fox Crossing and Neenah police departments. He got the uniform, the badge and even his own set of handcuffs, which his mom said made him pretty happy. 

“Happier than I’ve seen him in a long time,” Van Stippen said. “He’s a very happy kid in general, always with a smile, but it was a different kind of smile. You could just see the pureness, the absolute bliss, like he was on cloud nine.”

That happiness hasn’t been easy to come by these past few months for the Van Stippen family.

In November, they lost their home in a fire, just days after Chance was diagnosed with the rare brain cancer diffuse midline glioma.

“Unfortunately, they gave us about a year-and-a-half left with him because of how aggressive it is, and it’s not a cancer that’s usually beat,” Van Stippen said. 

That’s why those three police departments got together to make Friday a special day for the family.

Not only did he get the badge and all that other cool stuff, he got to do a lot of hands-on demonstrations. That included shooting a TASER and simulation gun at the practice range at Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety Training Center.

It was a whole community effort.

“It shows how a heart wrenching event in a family’s life can turn into something so positive if a community can get together to surround and support that family,” said officer Dan Hoernke of the Menasha Police Department.

Chance finished radiation treatments Tuesday. Now the family is going to focus on clinical trials to see if anything else can help to prolong the time they have together. 

“Chance is so dedicated and has so much faith that he’s going to be a miracle,” Van Stippen said. “He wholeheartedly believes he’s going to be a miracle and that something’s going to happen. So, he wants to try anything and everything and I stand behind that. We’re going to do everything we can.”

Doing everything they can means taking Chance to some places he’s always wanted to go, too. That includes Universal Studios, Disneyland, Lego Land and the mountains in Colorado.

“From there, those are the first he’s mentioned. After that, I said we can talk about and keep deciding,” Van Stippen said.

In the meantime, they’re praying for a miracle, while making every day they have together count.

The Van Stippen family has a GoFundMe page. Click here if you’d like to donate.