Boy's Courage Inspires Cancer Fundraiser

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 4:23 p.m. September 13, 2021

A Toronto Police officer is shaving his head to celebrate the life of an inspiring five-year-old boy who succumbed to cancer recently.

A group of police officers with a little boy
Parker, 5, gets to visit with police officers while undergoing treatment for cancer

Parker Sheahan was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that occurs in bones or in soft tissue around the bones.

Earlier this year, Const. Nelson Santizo met the boy.

“One of the officers at our Division and his parents are friends,” he said. “When she found out about his cancer, we organized a barbecue at our station and raised about $5,000.”

After the boy’s parents learned last March that the cancer had returned, Santizo and members of TPS teamed up with York Regional Police to contact the Make-A-Wish-Foundation for Batman do a visit to his home.

I will always remember his resilient attitude and joyful spirit

“We set it up as a surprise while little Parker was doing his Easter Hunt and he was over the moon,” said Santizo. “We also gave him a little badge that one of our officers made.”

To support this year’s Cops for Cancer fundraiser, the Neighbourhood Officer is shaving his head for the boy in Parker's memory.

“He touched my heart and shaving my head is the least I can do for him,” said Santizo. “I will always remember his resilient attitude and joyful spirit.”

Santizo will be joining in the TPS tradition that has seen Service members, both civilian and uniform, shave their heads in solidarity with those battling cancer. This year, he will not get to join in a large fundraising event because of COVID-19 protocols, but wanted to participate on a smaller scale.

Visit the  Cops For Cancer webpage to make a donation.

Started in Edmonton in 1994, Cops for Cancer is a national program raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society to fund research and support patients. The fundraising mostly involved fun events where law enforcement members shaved their heads for donations to the cause.

Toronto Police Service members have raised over $1.5 million since the program started.

A faux TPS badge with Parker on it
An officer created a special badge for Parker
TPS crest watermark