INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Caleb and Kaden Ratliff, 10-year-old twins, share the same blue eyes and rosy cheeks.
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They sport the same Sketchers and black shades. But the two brothers have another thing in common: They both have cystic fibrosis.
The condition is defined as a progressive, genetic lung disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits one’s ability to breathe over time. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, it’s unlikely a person with the disease will live past 30.
“They were diagnosed at 12 days old,” Elizabeth Bennett, Kaden and Caleb’s mom said. “They have the double delta f508 gene, which is considered the most deadly form.”
But on Monday afternoon, none of that mattered. The boys are a part of the Make-A-Wish program, and their dream has been to become real life K-9 police officers. Thanks to the Plainfield Police Department, their dream came true. Corporal Rob Pritchard and his K-9 Jocko took the twins under their wing for a day of adventure.
Dressed in uniform complete with police vests and hats, the four spent the day solving crimes, chasing bad guys and working as dispatchers.
“This was 100% real police work we’re doing here,” Pritchard told News 8. “On the radio, we got the call and it was like, “Guys, we gotta roll, we gotta go!” And they were all about it. Jumped right into the car, no hesitation.”
When asked what his favorite part of the day was, Kaden Ratliff said it was when they were chasing bad guys. Caleb Ratliff said his favorite part was when Jocko “bit the guy.”
At the end of the day’s events, family, friends and community members gathered at Hummel Park to congratulate the boys for saving the city. They both received a certificate of appreciation for their work. The twins’ mom was almost brought to tears.
“The day was so much more than I could ever imagine,” Bennett said. “They kept thinking they were never going to live long enough to become them.”
Bennett also has a message for families who might be struggling with a similar situation.
“If you’re always thinking of the bad and the bad days then it’s always going to be bad,” she said. “Yes, it’s hard. But if you’re not happy and you don’t live with your kids and try to be happy and experience things with them then they’re never going to be happy.”