A dream came true on Monday for four-year old Tobias John Gonzales, currently battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, as he was inducted into the Reno Police Department Special Heroes Unit as Honorary Sergeant.
“It was a blessing this morning to see the joy on Tobi’s face when he received his badge and shirt. We are so happy for him to be an Honorary Sergeant with Reno Police Departments’ Special Hero Unit,” said Chief Jeremy Massey with Reno PD. “We are inspired by the courage of all our Honorary Sergeants and want to honor and show them that they do not fight alone. We want to stand beside them.”
Lamar County Adopt A Cop President and Reno Council Member Amanda Willows, who has helped the family since learning of Tobi’s battle, hopes to bring light to children battling cancer in our community and help encourage change.
“I never knew what all these children go through until I met Honorary Sgt. Sierra Faulkner, who was the first to be inducted in the Special Heroes Unit,” Willows said. “Learning what all she had been through and how strong she was through it all really opened my eyes and touched my heart. Their strength and courage is inspirational, and we want them to know we see this in them.”
Willows said only about 4% of all federal funding for cancer research is spent on projects involving children’s cancers and she hopes they can also bring light to this and encourage change.
Tobi was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia just a few days before turning four years old on June 20, 2022, and after a courageous battle over the past year, his family received devastating news last week.
“We got bad news on his latest bone marrow scans and it showed his Leukemia is back,” said Jacquelynn Jensen, Tobi’s mother. “His body has completely removed the CD-22 protein from his cells that the medication was using to target his cancer.”
Describing Tobi as her “wild child,” Jensen said he is a funny and outgoing boy who is a joy to be around.
“He is all boy – from wanting to be outside to loving trains, big trucks and nerf guns. You would never catch him without a smile or running around 90-to-nothing. He’s known by everyone for his cowboy boots! They always make people smile seeing him running around in them.”
The family will head back to Children’s Medical Center tomorrow, Feb, 21, 2023, and doctors have said the next few months will be the “hardest thing he has ever been through since his diagnosis.”
Tobi has an older brother and sister and his dad will continue to work while Tobi and his mother stay at the hospital.
To keep up-to-date with Tobi, a Facebook page, Tobi Kicks Cancer has been created and donations can be made through Cashapp – username: $jacquelynnjensen