LORAIN - A chance meeting between a Lorain Police officer and a 10-year-old boy battling cancer has led to thousands of dollars in donations for his care.
Josue Massas was crying in pain in his hospital room when Officer Jesse Perkins happened to be walking by. He answered the child's cry with a present.
"What kid doesn't like a toy?" said Officer Perkins. "So I ran up to Walmart real quick and got him a toy and ran it back to the hospital."
Since that January day the two have grown close. On Josue's last day in the hospital Perkins arranged a police escort for the boy's final ride home from Cleveland to Lorain.
The touching moment inspired another. Lorain Councilman Angel Arroyo vowed to raise money to help the Massas family.
"It's above a badge," said Arroyo. "Above an elected title. It's brought a community together."
A GoFundMe page has been set up in addition to donations from the Lorain Fraternal Order of Police. More than $5,000 has been raised towards a $7,500 goal. Isabelle Velez, Joseu's cousin says it's heartwarming to see the outpouring of support for her cousin.
"Our family thanks them," said Velez. "They have all gone above and beyond our wildest dreams."
Josue was diagnosed with cancer at just four years old. The disease went into remission then later came back as neuroblastoma. Josue is now in the care of hospice at home in Lorain.
"You try to fight so hard and know the end result it's heartbreaking," said Josue's cousin Isabelle Velez.
The Lorain Fraternal Order of Police has pledged to donate all excess money for their memorial fund to Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital in Josue's name.