JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — On Wednesday, Parth Patel went from being a fourth grader at Alfred Zampella School to being an honorary Jersey City police officer, riding alongside his favorite superhero, Batman.
The little boy is being celebrated for his bravery as he receives home hospice care for cancer.
“Thank you to everybody for supporting me,” Patel said.
His sister, Hileri, and his parents walked beside him as he led a parade filled with Jersey City’s finest.
“This is the best memory anybody can, and I’m so glad we got to be here with him for it,” Hileri said.
“I’m overwhelmed. He’s a child. You could only wish he gets better,” Jersey City police officer Melissa Sarmiento said. “We can only pray for him and hope things work out.”
Neighbors snapped pictures and superheroes waved as Patel said hello to everyone. His classmates and teachers waved banners and cheered.
One teacher, Kelly Lomax, called Patel her superhero.
“He just taught me about life and about being courageous and brave,” she said.
Inside the school, a pizza party was held where Patel was surrounded by his friends who help him forget about being sick.
“Yesterday I went to his home and played Connect 4, and Friday and Thursday I’m going to play Connect 4 with him and play what he likes,” his friend, Varnit Monga, said.
Patel’s teachers said he loves coming to school and is able to attend class for about an hour each day.