Virginia boy joins SWAT team as part of Make-A-Wish opportunity

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RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia boy battling a debilitating disease got to live out his dream Sunday.

Smiling from ear to ear, Matthew Martinez was sworn in as a member of the Richmond Police Department over the weekend.

"He really did walk out of the room as Matthew, a kid, and came back in as Officer Martinez of the SWAT team," said Michael Martinez, Matthew's father.

Matthew's wish came true Saturday as Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia revealed they were going to make him part of the SWAT team.

Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia President Sheri Lambert said granting Matthew's wish is all about bringing the family hope.

"You’re never alone. That’s something that the SWAT team preaches every single day, and I wanted him to feel that he would never be alone for any challenges that I know he’s gonna face," said Richmond Police Department Interim Chief William Smith.

Matthew has cystic fibrosis, the same disease that took his brother’s life on Christmas Day.

"As a two-time recipient of a wish with Michael and now with Matthew, we’re grateful," Michael said. "The program itself is wonderful, for children that likely wouldn’t have these opportunities."

Lambert said the happiness is contagious.

"To see his joy and excitement and just the perfect smile that was brought about through his wish experience, it's just so inspiring," Lambert said. "It makes me want to work even harder and for us to do whatever it takes to achieve our vision of granting ever eligible child’s wish."

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