WASHINGTON - A dream came to life for an 8-year-old Maryland boy who got his chance to be a K-9 police officer. Ember Murdock is battling cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening, incurable disease that impacts the lungs and digestive system.
Ember thought he was spending his Friday with his family at D.C. museums, but we had something better in mind. FOX 5 DC and Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic teamed up to make his wish of becoming a K-9 police officer a reality, with help from the Metropolitan Police Department and a number of other area law enforcement agencies and partners.
Ember has been through a lot during his young life, and if you didn't know he had CF, his adventurous spirit and contagious energy would make it very hard to tell. He's been in and out of the hospital, as doctors do everything they can to help him fight the disease. But on Friday, Ember spent the day away from all of that.
Ember's wish day revealed
First thing Friday morning at the Bethesda Hyatt, Ember was surprised by FOX 5's Holly Morris, who told him that instead of breakfast, he was getting his wish day!
Ember received a video message from D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham, calling on him to help protect the District from crime. Ember could hardly contain his excitement as he prepared to embark on his first mission. But first, he had to receive his training.
Mission #1: MPD K-9 Training Facility
After suiting up in his new K-9 police uniform, Ember was whisked off to the police department's training compound where fans awaited his arrival. Ember wasted no time pumping up the crowd as he was introduced to his K-9 team.
Mission #2: MPD Air Support Unit
Next, Ember stopped at MPD's Air Support Unit Helipad! We kept his feet on the ground, though -- we need him to keep the city safe today! Ember got a tour of the chopper and then he was off.
Mission #3: MPD Harbor Patrol
The third mission of the day took Ember to MPD's Harbor Patrol unit, and he was just in time. There was an emergency on the water -- and it's good thing Ember was on duty! He made the rescue in record time, and saved a life! Way to go, Officer Ember!
Mission #4: Rest up (and eat!)
Being a K-9 police officer will take a lot out of you, so it's lucky for Ember that the Grand Hyatt D.C. was nearby. They set up a special lunch for Ember and some of his friends, giving him a chance to refuel before a big afternoon -- and his big finale!
Mission #5: Library of Congress
Officer Ember responded to a burglary at the Library of Congress where it was discovered a book was missing. Ember was able to gather the clues and "close the book" on the case when he spotted the burglar red-handed. The burglar was no match for Ember who quickly took him down and headed on to his next mission.
Mission #6: National Tree Lighting
The switch for the National Christmas Tree was reported missing and it was up to Ember and his K-9 partner to track it down. As Ember searched for the switch, a crowd gathered to cheer him on. After discovering the location of the switch, Ember used his new training to turn the tree back on.
THE GRAND FINALE
After battling bad guys and solving crimes all day, Ember was rewarded for his bravery by Chief Newsham. The crowd roared as he received his official plaque and an honorary stuffed K-9 police dog.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: EMBER'S WISH DAY
Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic needs your help to make more wishes come true! There are several ways you can help:
DONATE MONEY: Of course, donations are needed to keep the wishes coming for many kids like Ember. Right now, over 600 kids like Ember are currently waiting to have their wishes granted. Click here for a link to make a monetary donation.
DONATE AIRLINE MILES: Wish kids and their families often need transportation to make their wishes come true, and if you've got airline miles to spare, you can help. Click here for more info on how to help!
Note: All donations to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic stay local!
VOLUNTEER: Sign up to be a Wish Day volunteer!