Cops for Kids with Cancer came to the aid of a seven-year-old Roslindale boy with cancer this spring by presenting the boy’s family with $5,000 and a variety of other gifts.
Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox, retired Chief Robert Faherty, retired Captain Maura Flynn, and officers joined in the event at the District E-5 station(Roslindale/West Roxbury).
“He has a smile that lights up the room, and our officers can’t wait to see him again,” the officers said, while feting him and his family with lunch and a tour of the house.
The organization, which was formed some two decades ago by the late BPD Captain John Dow, has over the years assisted thousands of families as they have steered their way through cancer treatments for their children.
This latest presentation marks an impressive mile stone: CFKWC has raised and donated $5 million in grants to families who have a child living with cancer. Chief Faherty, chairman emeritus, was a longtime friend of Dow’s and has served on the charity’s board since its inception. In a recent interview with the Boston Irish Magazine, he spoke about the charity’s goals.
“Well, it started basically in 2002. and we meet once a month at the Boston Police Patrolman’s Union Hall,” he said. “They give us a space up stairs where we can fit enough people. The board consists of about 26 members, including current and retired police officers and some civilians. “The mission of the CFKWC basically is to give support to families that have a child with cancer,” Faherty said. “We know what the families have to go through; often, it’s just a mother. It’s amazing how many men bail out on their families when something like this happens. It’s terrible. “We have a process that we go through. We ask people if you know a child with cancer, and they’re having a hard time, let us know and we’ll send you the forms. They’re very simple and someone at the hospital can help make it out, and they get it back to us.
“We give them a $5,000 donation, no strings attached. They can do whatever they want with it, you
know, it’s their money.
“And a lot of people that have a child with cancer are really hurting because, like I say, a lot of times a lot of fathers aren’t involved in it. Just the mother · and she’s trying to keep her family at home safe. You know, these kids, when you see them and make the donation, they break your heart. But you can’t keep that all inside you.”
In addition to financial support, the program has sponsored special outings for the children, and many time brought them aboard the Boston Police boat on Boston Harbor. “The only problem was with Covid, you couldn’t do it,” Faherty says. “And we were just getting through Covid and that police boat sank. So, the Boston Police Department’s going to have to buy another one. When they get a new police boat, we’ll go back doing that.
“We give the hospitals money too, to take the kids out when there’s like a circus in town, with the ones that are healthy enough to do that, you know, or take them to a movie or take them to see the Ice Capades, things like that.”
Originally published in the Dorchester Reporter.