Teenager granted lifelong wish helps save Christmas for sick children

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City group called the "Elves of Christmas Present" led a massive secret conspiracy to surprise a sick child with an extraordinary gift for Christmas.

The Kansas City, Mo. Police Department needed help solving a special case, and they called in  15-year-old Tashawn Thompson, who fighting a life-threatening disease, to help them solve it.

"I'm going to grow up and be big and strong and be like one of the policemen," said Thompson.

A secret elf showed up at Thompson's house Wednesday with a note from Kansas City Mayor Sly James. Thompson has always wanted to be a police officer, since he thought they get free doughnuts.

"That's what I told my teacher and she was like, 'Tashawn, you have to pay for the donuts,' I'm like, 'no, they don't have to pay for them!'" Thompson added.

Even without free doughnuts, Thompson didn't change his mind. With the help of the Elves of Christmas Present, Mayor James, the police department and volunteers, Thompson's dreams finally became a reality.

"I cried the first time, but then that's when my police partner asked me, he heard that I wanted to be a policeman, so he handed me the suit and I got dressed," Thompson said.

After getting his new police uniform, Thompson and the police drove away to the police station to be sworn into the force.

"My favorite part was just riding in the police car with a police officer, with a real one!" Thompson exclaimed.

Police needed his help finding the presents stolen from a delivery truck meant for sick children, like Thompson himself.

"Holding back the tears as best as I can, but it gives my family joy, it gives me joy to see that smile on his face. We don't get that often... we don't get that often with his illness," said Thompson's mom, Marquita Douglas.

She says her middle child has been in and out of the hospital his whole life. He has sickle cell anemia, pulmonary hypertension, moyamoya and has suffered strokes.

"This is something that he's always wanted to do," added Douglas, "Tashawn is a child who likes to give."

KCPD Chief Darryl Forte put his best people on this case, including Thompson.

"It wasn't coming from the aspect of being a police officer, it was coming from just being to help out another individual and to be able to put  a smile on his face and fulfill his dreams," said KCPD Sergeant Tim Hernandez.

Thompson and the officers pulled into a warehouse after getting a tip that the presents were there.

"Helping the kids get their Christmas presents back," said Thompson.

"He's got a lot of spirit and courage for everything he's dealing with, his enthusiasm is amazing," added Sgt. Hernandez.

The final stop was Children's Mercy Hospital, where Thompson helped deliver the gifts back to the children.

"I saved Christmas!" Thompson said.

Tashawn got his wish, and the case is now closed.