UPDATED: Dream of becoming RCMP officer made reality for Cambridge boy

Kirk Starratt
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By Kirk Starratt



A terminally ill Cambridge boy’s dream to be an RCMP officer when he grows up has come true just in time for his seventh birthday.

Insp. Chris MacNaugton of Kings District RCMP made Andrew Kennedy an honourary member of the force Dec. 4., presenting him with a plaque confirming his status.

Andrew, who turns seven Dec. 8, was diagnosed with brain stem glioma when he was four years and 10 months old. Doctors have him nine months to a year to live, but Andrew has greatly exceeded his original prognosis.

The plaque presentation was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the celebration. When police agencies across Canada heard Andrew was celebrating a birthday, gifts, handmade cards and special mementos poured in from across Canada, filling the table in the RCMP’s boardroom in New Minas to overflowing.

“We’re very, very proud of Andrew, he’s our honourary Mountie,” MacNaughton said. “I know he’ll be gleaming when he sees this.”

Andrew, his brother Robert and his education assistant were also treated to a drive to school Dec. 6 in a police cruiser with an officer in red serge.

Andrew’s dad, George, said it’s very rewarding and overwhelming  to see the outpouring of support for Andrew from across the country.

“It’s very nice, it’s very touching, it’s heartwarming and we’re all very thankful and grateful for everyone who has taken part in this today,” George said.

He said Andrew was quite excited by the surprise waiting for him at the police station. “He won’t say much, but it shows on his face, that’s for sure.”

The little boys parents had only told him he was going for a visit to the New Minas RCMP headquarters. George, Andrew’s mother Janet Fairclough, Robert and sister Leigh were all on hand for the surprise.

Andrew showed up for his visit sporting his RCMP uniform, which was tailored by public servant Vanessa Austin to fit him last year when he served as honourary parade marshal for the New Minas Santa Claus parade. Andrew is proud of the uniform and wears it often.

Andrew, who has undergone a tracheostomy, has difficulty speaking. He isn’t allowed to take any liquids orally, but he can have some solid foods and he enjoyed a cupcake at his birthday celebration. 

The ball got rolling on the birthday event at the police station when Kings RCMP district services assistant Sally Walsh thought it would be nice to put together a photo album for Andrew of his past visits. She then decided to solicit birthday cards and small memorabilia items from members. Through the power of networking and social media, the project took on a life of its own.

MacNaughton said Andrew has been very dear to the hearts of public servants and employees of the New Minas RCMP detachment.

“What makes him so special is he’s always wanted to be a Mountie and it’s his dream to be a Mountie so we wanted to make his dream come true,” she said.

MacNaughton said the response from police and other civil servants across the country was overwhelming.

Read more about the Kennedy family here.


Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Cambridge, Kings District, Canada New Minas

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Recent comments

  • Retired Staff Sgt. Garth Hampson
    December 10, 2013 - 00:04

    What a great story your created for this young hero, Andrew. We welcome him to our ranks and are grateful that he has chosen the RCMP in which to make his contribution in life. He looks really good with those "hooks" on his arm. Wish we were there to celebrate this special time. Garth and Eleanor Hampson, Ottawa.

  • Steve Wohlmuth
    December 08, 2013 - 10:33

    The best local story of the year. Congratulations to the supporters (especially Sally Walsh) of this opportunity and the RCMP. Very fitting story for this time of the year. Best wishes Andrew!

  • Michelle Ferguson
    December 07, 2013 - 09:57

    I'm so happy that this little fellow got his dream recognized. It makes me sad to know what Andrew and his family is going through, having a brain tumor is the worst for anyone, I know as my fiancee is going through the same thing right now,but it's even worse for a small child to go through it, my heart truly goes out to little Andrews family. It tears me apart because there is not enough awareness for brain tumors, and because of that there is not enough research on them to help find a cure. I extend my prayers to Andrew and his family... God Bless them all!!

  • Patsy wellwood
    December 05, 2013 - 08:28

    Happy birthday Andrew, and I tip my hat to the police agencies across Canada, and to our RCMP, for giving the young man a memory, and a wish , which he will hold in his heart forever, God Bless

  • Betty Ann Kennedy
    December 05, 2013 - 07:23

    Andrew... you are a very "special boy" hope you have a GREAT BIRTHDAY and many many more. Love you lots..Aunt Betty XOXO :) :) :)

  • |Karen
    December 05, 2013 - 05:54

    Andrew and family are very special :)