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Boy in Pittsburgh hospital requests police patches; Buffalo police officer hand-delivers dozens

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Posted at 6:31 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-31 18:31:55-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The power of social media is helping lift the spirits of a young boy in a Pittsburgh hospital. Naturally, the City of Good Neighbors was happy to join the cause.

Eight-year-old Joshua Eastman of Kane, Pennsylvania, is currently in UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh as he continues his battle with cancer.

"He is what we call a hero," Becky Eastman, Joshua's mother, tells 7 News. "He has several times come so close to death an pulled through."

Joshua was diagnosed with cancer in May. Becky says her son dreams of being a police officer.

In an effort to cheer Joshua up, Raymond Garivey, a police chief in Southeast Texas, posted to social media asking for people to send law enforcement patches to the young boy.

"He loves to collect police patches and opening mail with patches keeps him happy," said Garivey in a Facebook post.

Joshua Eastman receives packages
Joshua Eastman began receiving dozens of packages containing patches sent to Children's Hospital Pittsburgh.


The post from Garivey was picked up by many on social media and went viral. Joshua quickly began receiving dozens of packages sent to the hospital from all over the United States, and from as far away as Iceland and Australia.

"He received close to 200 packages today alone," said Becky Eastman.

Western New York also jumped into the mix.

"It tugged at my heart strings," said Buffalo Police Lieutenant Karin Turello. Turello saw the Facebook post and was so touched by Joshua's story that she began a local effort to collect patches. "Immediately I had a huge response."

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Local law enforcement patches collected for Joshua Eastman by Buffalo Police Lieutenant Karin Turello.

Within a matter of days, Lieutenant Turello had collected close to 70 patches from multiple New York State Troopers, the Erie County Sheriff's Office and police departments including Amherst, Depew, Lancaster and Hamburg.

Combined with several items from the Buffalo Police Department and other community members the collection became too big to mail. So Lieutenant Turello and Buffalo Patrol Officer Darcie Brown decided to drive to Pittsburgh to meet with Joshua and his family and deliver the items in person.

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Buffalo Police Lieutenant Karin Turello delivers chest for a patches for Joshua Eastman who is currently in Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

"The joy on his face when he saw her and saw all the stuff that she brought was priceless", said Eastman.

"He's just like this little spirit. This warrior. You meet him and you are in awe. Immediately you feel that strength that he has," said Turello.

"He didn't realize the impact he made on me is probably greater than the impact we made on him."