At just 5 years old, Daidap already knows what he wants to do when he grows up – to protect the innocent and bring justice to criminals as an officer in the Honolulu Police Department.
He has always taken on the police officer role when playing outside with his friends – acting as the good guy that helps others and fights crime. But due to his heart condition, Daidap would often be forced to watch from his home as other kids his age ran around and played. The solution was simple – Officer Daidap needed something to help him get around, something that any real officer would need – a police cruiser – one that was fit to size!
What started out as a simple wish for a police car, turned into a day-long event transforming him into an official police officer thanks to the support of the Honolulu Police Department, the Mayor and the local community.
It began with a limo ride and special police escort from his home to the HPD’s Main Station in downtown Honolulu, where he was greeted by a line of about 100 officers. Daidap, dressed in his very own police uniform, hopped out of his limo with his family and walked with admiration past his idols. Once in the station, HPD Chief Kealoha and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell gave speeches acknowledging Daidap’s bravery.
“In just 5 years of life, Daidap has undergone nine open heart surgeries and will continue to require more as he grows into a strong healthy young man,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “Through all his medical ordeals, Daidap has remained positive, determined and brave – all traits of a good police officer.”
“This morning, the Honolulu Police Department is proud to join the Make-A-Wish Foundation in making a wish come true for a very special individual,” said HPD Chief Kealoha.
Daidap was then sworn in by the Chief of Police and presented an official badge by Mayor Caldwell, who also proclaimed April 28 “Officer Daidap Day.”
Just when he thought the ceremony was over, a line of police officers parted to reveal a PowerWheels police cruiser for the new junior officer! He immediately gasped and ran toward it with a big smile on his face. To him, this was the best part of his wish.
Following the ceremony, Daidap was invited to attend police training at the main station which was soon interrupted by a call for an assignment at Dave & Buster’s! Daidap hopped in a CAD van for a ride along, and arrived at D&Bs for food and games with his family, wish granters and two of his new police colleagues.
After lunch, Daidap was given another police escort to his home at Mayor Wright Community Housing where a surprise block party was thrown in his honor with the help of many local vendors who provided food, games and activities. Officer Daidap had to arrive in style, so before entering the event, he hopped out of the limo and into his new PowerWheels police cruiser and rode past a cheering crowd who welcomed him with signs and smiles.
President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Hawaii, Siana Austin Hunt, and HPD's Sgt. Bryan Oata took front and center to announce Daidap as “Mayor Wright Housing’s newest Junior Officer!” His friends and neighbors cheered in excitement as they watched this little boy who they know and love receive the recognition he deserves.
Daidap’s bravery is rare, admirable and a source of inspiration for an entire community who came together to support his wish. Now, officer Daidap is certain that dreams do come true and no challenge in life is too big to overcome.
As the hero does in every story, Daidap left his wish with a greater strength to fight on.
Special Thanks: The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc., Honolulu Police Department, Sergeant Bryan Oata, Sgt. Sterling, Chief Kealoha, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Lanakila Kitchens, Kona Ice and ColorWhims – Hawaii Party Entertainers, Hawaii Bicycle League, Car Wraps Hawaii, Augie T., Ohana Broadcasting Company, Xtreme Sports, Accel Rentals, Balloony Tunes, Mayor Wright Housing, Dave & Buster’s, Wish granters; Kathryn Reitenbach & Kevin.