A nine-year-old boy with blood cancer in Da Nang city had his dream come true on his birthday: going out into the street and regulating traffic like a cop.
Do Tuan Dung has been treated for cancer at the Da Nang Tumor Hospital for a year now. After five phases of chemotherapy, he has lost all his hair. Other patients at the hospital describe him as always smiling.
One week before his 9th birthday doctors at the hospital decided to do something special for the young patient, and Dr Pham Le Na wrote to the city police department. The request to allow the boy to wear a uniform was accepted.
On Saturday Dung had possibly the most memorable birthday of his life. Officers from the Traffic Police Division and members of a local pagoda’s charity group joined hands to celebrate his birthday party at the hospital.
Dung had the chance to wear the cherished uniform. He cut the birthday cake, opened presents and sang songs cheerfully along with his fellow child patients.
After the party he was taken on a traffic police motorbike on patrol.
After “patrolling” some streets, he got off and was given a whistle and a baton to regulate traffic on the street.
He signaled a motorbike rider to stop after spotting the rider did not wear a crash helmet. He then made out a ticket.
He looked happy, sometimes touching the badge on his uniform and smiling.
“I always wanted to be a traffic cop because I wanted to help people know more about traffic rules and avoid crashes,” Dung said.
Nguyen Thi Thuy Huong, 47, his mother, has been struggling to raise her two children after her husband died many years ago.
She was devastated when told that Dung had blood cancer.
Dung has four more phases of chemotherapy to go. Doctors said his condition had become more stable after treatment over the last year, according to Huong.
She said: “He is serious about traffic rules. One time I was in a hurry and ran a red light. He was not happy and told me I should not do that.”
Do Tuan Dung escorted to a street by a traffic police officer. Photo: Hoang Son
He regulates traffic with a baton and a whistle.
He is helped on to a traffic police officer’s motorbike.
Dung cuts a birthday cake at the Da Nang Tumor Hospital.
He receives a gift from a relative.
A young fellow patient sings at the birthday party.
Dung and his mother Nguyen Thi Thuy Huong