WYLIE -- Eight-year-old Xander Wade was sick with a heart defect and a rare genetic disorder known as Allgrove syndrome his entire life. But watching his family videos posted to Facebook, it was easy to forget that.
"His body is failing him, but he is doing so great," said Marsha Wade, Xander's mother.
Through his infectious smile, he touched everyone he met.
He was a little boy that loved heroes, and he got to meet one in real life. It came on the day someone smashed a window in his house.
"So they got here, and Xander could hear that they were here," Wade said.
Wylie Patrol Officer Samuel Shipley and his partner responded to the call.
"He was instantly smitten... He was just giddy, giggling" Marsha Wade said. "[Xander] was like, 'I've always wanted to be a real police officer.'"
The visit that day in July was the first of many to come.
"He was just happy and excited," Shipley said. "I would joke with him that if maybe -- if it was alright with his mom -- if we snuck him out to get some bad guys, and he was always just ready to go."
Xander's health would get worse. But the officers kept coming.
"There'd be days where it would be hard to get through [physical therapy] and he'd be so tired so weak and we needed him to stretch, and lo and behold, I'd have a Wylie police officer walk through my door," his mother said.
Over he summer, Xander was sworn in as an honorary police officer. The smile on his face showed a dream come true.
"I remember getting to call him 'Officer Wade,'" Shipley said. "That was a pretty special experience."
Xander died over the weekend, succumbing to the genetic defect. Many know his fight was nothing short of heroic.
"He really meant a lot to us, and will continue to mean a lot to us and to our family," Shipley said.
Wylie police officers treated Xander’s body as they would a fellow officer. They've never left his side since the day he passed away.
Brothers in life and in death.
"He loved them, and to know they were there with him... He's not alone," Marsha Wade said. "He's not by himself."
The boy who looked up to officers now has those same officers looking up to him.
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