BRENHAM, Texas — Devarjaye 'DJ' Daniel is just 10 years old, but he's got a lot of travel under his belt. The Pearland boy is working to be sworn into 100 law enforcement and first responder agencies in an effort to bring awareness to childhood cancer.
DJ is battling terminal brain and spinal cancer and he's making the effort to carry on the legacy of Officer Abigail Arias, the 7-year-old honorary Freeport police officer who lost her battle with cancer a little more than a year ago.
DJ's father, Theodis Daniel, said the turnout for the event Wednesday shows how much love a small but mighty community like Brenham can have. Out of the 86 agencies that have sworn DJ in, he says he feels a lot of affection coming from Washington County.
“I told him, I said you know what, they may have bigger cities, but they got bigger hearts in these small towns," Daniel said. "I said to him, I’m serious, no joke. When they come out they show out."
Daniel said his son was diagnosed back in 2018 but has always had a love for law enforcement and it's their family's faith that has them choosing to move forward.
“Even through it all, it doesn’t matter how bad it is, just find a way to smile through it," Daniel said. "At first when it happened, I was mad at God and I didn’t understand it, but then I said thank you for your blessing and it’s your will.”
The devoted dad said that DJ didn't get the chance to meet Officer Abigail before she died, but wanted to make sure her legacy lives on.
“He’s more uplifted and I’m going to keep you alive, I’m going to make sure everybody remembers who you are and he always show’s Abigail’s reach and the state of her illness," Daniel said.
DJ and his father said they will continue to travel the state to agencies wanting to honor the young boy and if it's possible, find more than 100.
“I don’t think it’s going to stop after 100, I think Abigail’s reach is really real,” Daniel said.
The Brenham Police Department, the Blinn Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the Brenham Fire Marshal's Office, the Washington County Constable's Office, District Attorney's Office and the Texas Game Wardens all participated in swearing in DJ as an honorary officer.