David Turner Jr.

David Turner Jr. was 6 years old when he was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma on April 17, 2018. It's an aggressive, terminal tumor growing on his brain stem. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A 6-year-old battling terminal cancer got the wish of a lifetime when he became a Kentucky State Police trooper for a day.

David Turner Jr., Kentucky's tiniest state trooper, reported for duty on Monday at the Kentucky State Police Elizabethtown post. Turner is a take-no-prisoners 6-year-old boy who loves to play Cops and Robbers.

"I'm usually the robber," David Turner Jr. said.

But life hasn't been a game for David Turner Jr. lately. Now he's in a real-life fight with the ultimate bad guy.


"It's actually the most aggressive and most challenging type of cancer we are facing," said Elizabeth Turner, David Turner Jr.'s mom.

In April, doctors diagnosed the 6-year-old with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a terminal cancer growing on his brain stem.

"You're stunned," said David Turner Sr. "Your mind is racing and your body is going crazy and in that moment, I was just worried about him."

The family says most patients survive just nine months, so they decided to launch "David's Adventure," a new experience every day after radiation as a way for David to live life to its fullest.

Monday's adventure included his own pint-sized police uniform, time with the bomb squad, the K-9 Unit and SWAT -- but his favorite moment came when he sat in the firetruck, where he could barely see over the wheel.

Captain Matt Johnson of the Kentucky State Police organized it all, with favors from Elizabethtown police and fire departments. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps with David Turner Jr.'s uncle.

"If we can bring a smile to his face and make it a positive day, then it's worth it, absolutely," Captain Johnson said.

The wear on the young boy's body could be seen as the morning passed as he started to ask about a snack and his brow turned down from fatigue. 

"All he wants to do is eat and sleep, is what he told us the other day," said Elizabeth Turner. "And it's hard for him to enjoy the things he used to enjoy."

Treatment options and research lack for this rare brain cancer and reports say about 300 kids are diagnosed each year. 

"Anytime he's smiling just brings joy to my heart," said David Turner Sr. "And so for the police officers here, for them to pull together and do this for our son is, just, just special."

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