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Aikin Student Returns To School After Battling Cancer

Reno Police Chief Jeremy Massey presented Judd with his Honorary Sergeant Award.


Local law enforcement officers came together on Monday, October 10, 2023, to escort Judd Bryan to his first day of school for this school year. Upon arrival at Aikin Elementary, all the third-grade students greeted Judd. His homeroom class and staff members wore the unique shirt that Judd and his sister created to help with medical expenses. “When Judd’s parents contacted me about this opportunity with the officers, I was so excited for our entire campus to welcome him back,” explained Aikin Principal Katie McKinney. “Hannah Sartor, his third-grade teacher, took it upon herself to “recreate” the first day of school for him. It was a very humbling experience that gave us all chills.”

Pictured left to right with Judd: his brother Colt Ashby, Mom Katharine Bryan, Dad Cheyney Bryan, Captain Johnathan Smith (LCSO), Texas Ranger Stacy McNeal, Sheriff Scott Cass, Chief Jeremy Massey (Reno PD), Officer Mike Harvey (Reno PD), Trooper John Henry Newman, Deputy Stetson Henderson (LCSO).

“We have developed the Reno Police Department’s Special Hero Unit for children that struggle with medical issues,” explained Reno Police Chief Jeremy Massey. “We make them Honorary Sergeants with the Reno Police Department. We give them a plaque with a real police badge, shoulder patch, and nameplate that has Sgt. Judd Bryan, Special Hero Unit. We also give them a uniform shirt with a badge and name. I told him that due to his courage and bravery, we would like to make him an honorary sergeant with the Reno Police Department.”

Beginning in August, during a vacation with his mom and dad in Taos, New Mexico, Judd Bryan started having symptoms that led his parents to take him to Covenant Children’s Hospital in Lubbock, Texas. From there, they sent him by Care Flight with his mom to Medical City Children’s Hospital of Dallas. At Medical City, he was diagnosed with a tumor in his spinal cord. Judd underwent spinal cord surgery, and doctors miraculously removed the tumor. They later found that the tumor was malignant, and Judd had to spend two months in Dallas, undergoing occupational, physical, and proton radiation therapy.

“Today, everyone has witnessed a miracle with Judd’s return to school,” expressed Mom Katharine Bryan. “Doctors warned the family, and they acce[t that Judd may never walk again, but Judd is beating the odds, moving his legs, and ready to be back as a Wildcat.”

Front row left to right: Legend Swan, Waylon Petty, Oliver Bell, Carly Krogman, Gavin Plata, Aaron Cothren, Shayla Burgess, Marley Perry, Rae Anne Neeley, Spencer Bois, Campbell Harper, Judd Bryan, Caroline Elliott, Anniston Darnell, Jack Putnam, Oliver Gonderman, Jaidyn Steen, Julia Thompson, Tripp Jones, Beau Hernandez, and Dayne Huff Back row left to right: Assistant Principal David Stevens, Principal Katie McKinney, Assistant Principal Lalonna West, and teacher Hannah Sartor.