ELDRIDGE — Hudson McKearney has two dreams: to be Captain America and to be a police officer. On Friday, one of those dreams came true.
Hudson was sworn in as an honorary Eldridge police officer Friday by Eldridge Mayor Marty O'Boyle. His badge number is Eldridge 102, and he'll be a member of the police department forever.
Hudson, who is 4, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia just before his second birthday. He has had more than 15 life-saving blood transfusions and is now in remission, but he will still need chemotherapy until May 2022 and will likely need continued treatment for the rest of his life.
"Hudson kind of stole our hearts a few months ago," Eldridge Police Chief Joe Sisler said as he introduced Hudson before his swearing in.
The Eldridge community center was full of family, friends and community members who cheered on Hudson as he was sworn in. Officers from several departments were in attendance at the ceremony, including the Eldridge Police Department, the Scott County Sheriff's Office, the Cedar Rapids Police Department and even Iowa State Troopers.
Hudson didn't say much during the event, but he waved to friends and family and proudly posed for several pictures. Friends and family brought presents and cards for Hudson, and pizza was provided by Hall of Fame Pizza & Wings.
Hudson was dressed up in a police officer shirt with a printed-on badge and name tag. He had a walkie-talkie clipped to his pants, and he carried a toy police car.
After being sworn in, Hudson went outside where he was greeted by a crowd of law enforcement personnel and given the opportunity to sit in two different squad cars and turn the sirens on and off.
Kyle McKearney, Hudson's dad, said Hudson had lived a pretty isolated life so far because of his cancer and the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was overwhelming for Hudson to see everyone who came to support him.
"We've had a lot of ups and down over the past few years, so this support really means a lot," Kyle said.