There is a story in the second grade class at Cotton Boll Elementary School in Peoria that may not have a happy ending, but it is certainly worth telling.
It's about a boy named Daniel Lopez. He loves math, he loves fixing things, and he loves dreaming about his future.
"He wants to be a police officer when he grows up. He's been saying that for a few years now," said Brenda Hernandez, Daniel's mom.
Unfortunately, the closest Daniel will ever get to wearing a badge was the special day he got to spend with Peoria police officers this week.
Daniel has a malignant brain tumor that doctors first discovered when he was just two years old.
They have done six surgeries but say they can do nothing more to stop the disease.
"It grows up the brain stem and due to the location they can't get it all out," said Hernandez.
Given the prognosis, you might be surprised to know that Daniel still spends his days working on his education.
"He loves going to school," said Deni Gaines, who was Daniel's first grade teacher.
Gaines says the other kids can learn a lot from Daniel.
"Don't let something difficult in your life hold you back," said Gaines.
Gaines nominated Daniel's family for CBS 5's Pay It Forward series.
We surprised Hernandez with the $500 so she could use it for medical expenses.
Daniel's family will also host a car show this Saturday to raise money for his medical expenses.
The show is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Chilly Bombers, 4917 W. Bell Road.
Copyright 2012 KPHO (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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