WILKINSON COUNTY, Ga. — At least two metro Atlanta police departments have joined the call for patches and coins for a Georgia boy battling cancer.
His family said 10-year-old Mason Ring was diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD), an aggressive form of lymphoma. It was discovered in May after Mason had his tonsils and adenoids removed.
Mason's father, Shawn Ring, said he had to stay in the hospital for sixteen days because of an allergic reaction to chemotherapy. Because of that, doctors had to use a chemo that had never been used on a child before.
Four months after his cancer diagnosis, doctors found a tumor in Mason's throat. He is heading back to the hospital Monday for a biopsy.
Shawn told 11Alive that this aggressive form of lymphoma can be caused by an organ transplant. At just 7-months-old, Mason had a heart transplant.
While battling this terrible illness, Mason has had some unique items lifting his spirits.
He started collecting police patches.
Shawn said Mason's favorite shows are LivePD and PDCam. It may also be because Mason's dad is a police officer with the McIntyre Police Department.
"We are so grateful for all the support he has received. He gets excited opening his packages and receiving visitors," said Shawn.
The Alpharetta Department of Public Safety said they are contributing to Mason's collection.
The department said in a Facebook post Sunday, that they are putting together a box to send to him.
"We're on this and will be sending him a box full of things from Police, Fire, and 911!" the department wrote.
The department also took the time to spread the word to others following the page - especially first-responders.
"We also know our page is followed by other first-responders, active and retired military, veterans, and others who have a soft place in their hearts for children," the public safety department wrote on its Facebook page.
They invited anyone with items like cards, patches or challenge coins to send them to Mason:
Attention: Mason Ring
Shawn and Jessica Ring
203 Main Street
Toomsboro, GA 31090
So far, one of the departments Alpharetta tagged has already vowed to get involved.
"We have happily agreed to help, of course," said a post from the Roswell Police Department.
On top of his medical battles, Mason has faced multiple house fires according to a raffle poster written for a recent benefit.
His father said they also have a benefit account in Mason's name to help with travel expenses to get him to and from Atlanta for treatment. That account is at Wilkinson County Bank in Irwinton, Georgia.
Photos of Mason provided to us by his family show he's already received more than a few patches - those photos also show a big smile on his face. Now, with two more departments joining the movement - and more likely to join in - there will likely be many more smiles for Mason as he continues his courageous battle.
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