UH Moment

UH Moment: Child with cancer made honorary UH police officer

“He gets up, he has fun, he wants people to know he’s enjoying his life that and we should too”

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With hugs and handshakes for all, 10-year-old Devarjaye “DJ” Daniel lit up the room of his 244th ceremonial induction proceeding, in which he became an honorary police officer to law enforcement agencies of University of Houston, UH-Clear Lake and UH-Downtown on Monday, Feb. 21.

Police chiefs Ceaser Moore, Jr. (UH), Russell Miller (UHCL) and Casey Davis (UHD) led the ceremonial swearing-in and presented Daniel with a printed oath of honorary appointment from their respective departments, as well as departmental patches and other commemorative gifts.

Diagnosed with terminal brain and spinal cancer at age 6, Daniel was inspired by the legacy of 7-year-old Abigail Arias, who became an honorary Freeport police officer to raise awareness for childhood cancer before passing away in November 2019.

Daniel has surpassed his goal of swearing in to over 100 agencies and has had a good time doing so. His father, Theodis Daniel, said that's a lesson we can all learn from his son: No matter our circumstances, we can face life with positivity.

"He gets up, he has fun, he wants people to know he's enjoying his life that and we should too," he said.

Daniel went up in the portable two-story surveillance SkyWatch tower, rode shotgun on a campus police four-wheeler and was pinned with UHPD badge No. 999. Ceaser Moore, Jr., UH chief of police, took pictures with Daniel behind his desk.

"When I woke up this morning, I felt excited knowing I was going to swear him in,” said Moore. “In my line of work and as a parent, it's great when you get to do something positive and for the right reasons.”

Throughout the event, Daniel struck the "Abigail Reach" pose made popular by Arias — standing, arms and legs spread wide, smile ear to ear, symbolically reaching out to touch the world with hope.

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