PALMDALE – Seven-year-old Deshawn has lived with eczema, asthma and various food allergies all his life. He likes to play, but can’t play in the grass because of allergies. He likes waterfalls, but can’t stay in the water for any length of time. And he likes Chuck E. Cheese but can’t eat the pizza because of the sauce.
Making friends is also a challenge for the Palm Tree Elementary second grader.
“Nobody wants to play with him because of his condition,” said his caregiver Tyisha Terry. “Some days he’ll say ‘oh my friends laugh at me’.”
Deshawn has managed to keep a positive attitude through it all, Terry said.
This positive attitude earned Deshawn some much-deserved recognition Wednesday.
“You are a deserving young man and this will be great for you,” Captain Bobby Denham told the youngster. “We are really proud of you and we want you to continue the great job that you’re doing.”
Denham said he heard about Deshawn’s story through a social worker and was moved by the youngster’s courage. He said the 999 for Kids program was created for kids like Deshawn.
“The men and women of the Sheriff’s department give their own money to help provide things for these young people,” Denham said. “To see somebody like that who’s struggling… and then to see their face smile, it really means a lot to me.”
The 999 for Kids program was established in 1985 by the Sheriff’s Depart and the Department of Children and Family Services to make a positive difference in the lives of special needs children. Deputies raise money to purchase items and services for these children, including sport wheelchairs, computers, special education classes, and medically-oriented toys and games.