New Jersey State Police send helicopter to lift spirits of preschooler with cancer

NJSP Helicopter

A 2-year-old with a fast-moving form of cancer was treated to a visit by a state police helicopter Wednesday.  Cole McKeon is a big fan of airplanes, and his father, Ridgewood Officer Kevin McKeon, said "his eyes lit up" when the helicopter touched down on the field behind Ridgewood police headquarters.   “We would take weekly trips down to Teterboro Airport. They’ll fly over the corner of the Walmart parking lot, and we’d go down there and watch them land,” said McKeon.  The special visit was made possible when State Trooper Evan Curtiss, a member of the Ridgewood Emergency Services, contacted McKeon to say he would be in the area on Aug. 15.  “We were just waiting for a good day with weather and for Cole to be feeling well,” said McKeon. “He got very excited. His eyes lit up because I don’t think he expected it to land. We said, ‘Oh, that’s Mr. Evans up there.’ And then all of a sudden, it started lowering. He starts pointing like ‘come down, come down.’ And then when he landed, Cole was like ‘OK, take off.’”  Curtiss gave Cole a state police jumpsuit with his name on it, which will be his Halloween costume.  “It was a really nice thing for them to do,” said McKeon. “So many people have done so much for us, it’s above and beyond anything I’ve seen.” The McKeons are Ridgewood residents.   Cole McKeon is undergoing treatment for neuroblastoma, which typically affects children under 10.  He was diagnosed with cancer days shortly after his second birthday. Neuroblastoma starts in certain very early forms of nerve cells, most often found in an embryo or fetus.  Doctors found the cancer near Cole's kidney. It later spread throughout his body and reached his bone marrow.