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Howell police boost child’s spirits

HOWELL – Officers from the Howell Police Department recently brightened the day for a youngster who has faced several health challenges in his young life.

On June 1, Jake Honig, 7, was named an honorary police officer. Jake has had been treated for tumors on his brain since he was 2 years old.

As part of the recognition for the department’s newest “officer,” police sent a motorcade through the Monmouth Ridings neighborhood to honor Jake.

Officers presented the youngster with a 12-volt electric police motorcycle, complete with Howell police decals and a personalized banner from the Howell PBA which carried the message “Jake ‘The Tank’ Honig – A True Hero.”

On June 2, Police Chief Andrew Kudrick uploaded a video of the event to the police department’s Facebook page and the video has since been viewed more than one million times, according to the police department.

Detective Cpl. Mike Pavlick organized and coordinated the special event, including the purchase and delivery of the child’s motorcycle. Pavlick met Jake and his parents, Janet and Mike, through a mutual friend in 2012.

Pavlick learned that Jake “loves cops” so last year he invited the Honig family to the police department for a tour. Jake had the opportunity to ride in police cars and to turn on police lights and sirens, and Pavlick presented him with a collection of police patches. Since then the detective and the family have remained in contact.

“Everything was worth it just to see the look on Jake’s face. He was so happy, all smiles, he really did not have a lot to say, he was just happy, which is the whole point, he deserves to be happy,” Pavlick said of the June 1 presentation.

Kudrick wrote a message to Jake on Facebook and said, “Jake, there is a police officer application set aside with your name on it.”

All of the police officers who participated in the motorcade and the delivery of the motorcycle to Jake volunteered their time.

Jake’s father, Mike, said the event was “completely over the top, in a good way. It brought smiles to his face, but just not on that day. It was amazing.”

Honig said Jake enjoyed playing in the military style police vehicles and seeing a demonstration from the police department’s K-9 Unit.

“We can’t thank the Howell police enough for what they did that day and for what they continue to do. Since 2012, they have made Jake smile and made him feel so special. Not only does it help us and Jake on the day they do that, but it helps when Jake is having a rough day. It helps to pull from the memories. It carries a lot more than one day,” Honig said.

Honig said when Jake was 2 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was about the size of a kiwi fruit. Doctors believed he had Ewing’s sarcoma. Jake underwent successful brain surgery which removed the tumor and left no neurological defects. The surgery was followed by chemotherapy and radiation over nine months.
“He is called Jake ‘The Tank’ because of how quickly he bounced back from his diagnosis and surgery in 2012. He had seven hours of brain surgery, woke up and told his surgeon he wanted pancakes and juice. Most children don’t speak for at least 24 hours post-surgery. His surgeon was laughing hysterically,” Honig said.
Jake was in remission for four years, until a scan showed a tumor had returned in the same location and same size as 2012. Following that diagnosis, Jake underwent six hours of brain surgery during which the tumor was removed, according to his father.
Honig said that after additional testing was conducted, doctors concluded the tumor was not Ewing’s sarcoma. He said it is a high grade, hard-to-categorize malignant brain tumor caused by a specific gene mutation.
Jake is undergoing chemotherapy.
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