Like many kids his age, Robert Barrett loves racing car games, has a lot of friends and loves to explore.
“We pretend to be officers, arrest each other, we also play in the snow,” said Robert.
But Robert was born with Hydronephrosis, a kidney and bladder disease that requires him to take up to 14 different medications daily. He’s undergone countless surgeries.
“Everybody always asks us, how do we do it? It’s like putting your shoe on in the morning, one-by-one. We just wake up and take care of his medical, and his medicines. It’s all we know,” said Robert Barrett, Father.
Doctors once said Robert wouldn’t live past his first birthday, but his strength and resilience are what kept him going.
Robert aspires to be a police officer one day. He spends a lot of time helping officers at the Newark Police Department and as a result he’s developed a friend for life. Officer Daniel Weegar said, “When I met Robert, he was a vibrant young boy.”
Weegar of the Newark Police Department works for the K-9 unit. Conveniently enough because Robert likes all things “police”, Robert and Weegar have a very unique bond,
“He’s very interested in working with the dogs. He saw my last K-9 and he’s seen this K-9, so we spent some time with some of the stuff I get to do,” said Weegar.
Because Robert has demonstrated that he can be a good member of the Newark Police Department by helping the community, he was sworn in as an honorary police officer.
Robert said, “It felt kind of exciting, I was scared because it was my first time.”
Robert’s already ridden in police cars, and walked the beat with officers. Now he’s got a badge of his own, to show that his illness can’t stop his dreams from coming true.
Robert started a non-profit organization called, “Bugamans Dream.” He said it’s a way to help other kids who have medical issues afford supplies and services for those who can’t afford it. The organization is linked through a Go Fund Me page.
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