Two Wall Township police officers met their hero Monday.
, greeted Sgt. Joseph Wilbert and Patrolman Doug Borst with open arms Monday when the pair delivered the boxes of well-wishes and gifts at the boy’s Virginia home.
The Wall police station over the holidays was the main collection point for gifts for Nathan, who suffers from inoperable cancer. Nathan’s heroes are emergency responders, and he collects insignia and other first responder items from around the country.
Wall Police collected six, good-sized boxes as responders and others came to answer a Christmas wish for the boy. Borst and Wilbert, along with Wilbert’s wife and 4-year-old daughter, delivered the boxes in person on Monday.
“It was a humbling experience, to say the least,’’ Wilbert said. “The family welcomed us with open arms and we had a really nice visit.’’
Nathan was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 3. An operation removed a little more than half the tumor, which continues to grow. Doctors later found an inoperable spinal cord tumor. Even chemotherapy, the latest round of which is ongoing, does not stop the progression of Nathan’s disease, only slows it temporarily, according to his mother, Dawn Norman.
Despite the progression of his disease, the 6-year-old was as rambunctious as any kid his age, Wilbert said.
“For a boy with his condition, you’d never know it,’’ Wilbert said.
The outpouring of support for the young boy and his family has been overwhelming, Wilbert said, as law enforcement agencies across the country have spread Nathan’s story. The number of packages Nathan receives is “down to about 30 to 50’’ a day, he said.
They’ve gotten so much, Wilbert said, that a local Home Depot has volunteered to build a shed on the family’s property to hold all the gifts.
“I forget the exact size, but they call it a shed, I call it an oversized garage,’’ Wilbert said.
To follow the Normans' story go to: www.caringbridge.org/visit/nathannorman
Cards and letters can be sent to:
The Norman Family
81 Dunivan Drive
Rustburg, VA 24588