NORTH BERWICK, Maine — One police department in York County is looking to support those battling childhood cancer and their families. The North Berwick Police Department will wear gold patches on its uniforms during March.
"I hope that seeing these patches shows kids that they're not alone, and that they matter, and that we all think they're warriors," North Berwick Police officer Ashley Sargent said.
In addition to donning the gold patches, they will also be available for sale. The department is asking for donations for the patches, and all funds will be donated to the Maine Children's Cancer Program.
"We've had people come in and offer $10. We've had people come in and offer $5. We've had people come in and give us $100. So it's whatever people want to give us for a patch, and it's all going to go to them to support children's cancer," Lt. Daniel Pelkey said.
Pelkey said they've already received donations from areas as far away as Virginia and Texas, and the department has already raised nearly $1000.
Childhood cancer is a cause that's very close to home for the North Berwick Police Department. Shortly before she was hired to the department, Sargent's infant child Wyatt had his own battle with cancer.
"In December of 2017, when he was only a month old, he was diagnosed with a very rare brain cancer called ATRT (Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor)," Sargent said. "He underwent numerous brain surgeries, general surgeries, and a lot of chemotherapy and fought very bravely for 19 of his 20 months. We ultimately lost him to his cancer in August of 2019."
Sargent said she hopes wearing these patches can bring awareness to the challenges of childhood cancer and help support those currently facing it.
"I hope this shows them that they're not alone. Because they're not," Sargent said.
Anyone who would like to support the Maine Children's Cancer Program by donating and receiving a patch can contact the North Berwick Police Department at 207-676-2751 or emailing GoingGold@Townofnorthberwick.org.