TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- A nine-year old boy's big wish is coming true.
Grant York has had health problems for six years. He was diagnosed with Mitochondria Mutation, which means he is unable to absorb nutrients in his stomach lining. Grant has not been able to eat actual food since he was three-years old.
On April 12, he decided to go on hospice.
"He's spent more of the last two years in-patient than he has at home," Kasie Mendenhall, Grant's mother, said.
Friday, Grant thought he was just headed to Branson for the Dixie Stampede. Mendenhall said it is Grant's first "big trip." It is also his "Butterfly Wish". Physician's Choice Hospice is paying for Grant and his family to go on the trip.
Family, friends and community members gathered to send him off with several surprises.
Grant pulled up to the Cherokee County Casino parking lot with no idea what he was walking in to.
His classmates from an elementary school in Keys lined up and cheered Grant's name. Several handed him cards and toys.
"He's never met any of his classmates in person," Mendenhall said. "He FaceTimes with the Keys Public School System so he can still be a part of school."
The Tahlequah Police Department also joined in on the festivities.
"The more I learned about Grant, the more I knew for certain I would be honored to have him as an officer for our department," Chief Nate King said.
They gave Grant a certificate, shirt, hat and he took the Tahlequah Police oath. He even got a badge.
"It makes you appreciate what you have and brings about a lot of emotion about my own kids," Chief King said.
The family headed off to Branson with a police escort Friday and will return Sunday.
Even though the day was full of
<p><em><strong>Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.</strong></em></p><p>Download our free app for <a href="http://bit.ly/2wfyiphoneapp" target="_blank">Apple</a> and <a href="http://bit.ly/kjrhandroid" target="_blank">Android</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/1dLTWVt" target="_blank">Kindle</a> devices.</p><p>Sign up for <a href="http://www.kjrh.com/account/manage-email-preferences" target="_blank">newsletters emailed to your inbox.</a> Select from these options: Breaking News, Severe Weather, School Closings, Daily Headlines and Daily Forecasts.</p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/KJRH2HD" target="_blank">Follow us on Twitter</a>: </em></p><p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/follow_button.html?screen_name=KJRH2HD" style="width:300px; height:30px;"></iframe></p><p><em><a href="https://www.facebook.com/kjrhtv" target="_blank">Like us on Facebook</a>: </em></p><p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="//www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkjrhtv&width&layout=standard&action=like&show_faces=true&share=true&height=80" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; height:80px;"></iframe></p><p> </p>