Local Coverage

Dec 13, 2012 7:00 PM

Police Officer Who Lost Son to Cystic Fibrosis Visits Dalton

It's a touching story that's reaching people all around Kentucky and the world. Nine-year-old Dalton Dingus's courageous battle against Cystic Fibrosis, a lung disease, has inspired people to send him thousands of Christmas cards.

It's another day, and another delivery of cards that fill a car to the Dingus household. Then, a visitor, Officer Joe Saunier with the Lawrenceburg Police Department, arrives with cards in hand.

"I've got one special for you Mom, it's from our secretary at school who does the attendance. She wanted you to get that. Young man, this is kind of special for you from the city. They gave you a pin there, and that's from all the guys from the police department for you."

Officer Saunier knows a fighter when he sees one.

"My son passed away in 2005 from CF so you got one parent here to another, and that's why I'm here," he says.

A school resource officer, when Joe Saunier read some of the 900 plus hand-written cards his school made for Daltun Dingus, he had to hand deliver them. Joe's son Ryan Saunier fought cystic fibrosis all his life, and he kept beating the odds. When he was 12, he met Ken Griffey Jr. He was a straight-A UK student before passing away after a double lung transplant in 2005.

"Ryan, he wasn't supposed to be ten," says Officer Joe Saunier. "They told us he'd be lucky to make ten. Well Ryan made it to twenty."

The support continues to amaze Jessica Dingus and her son.

"Thank you from the bottom of our heart to care so much to have already sent a card, or if you are going to send a card, we thank you," says Jessica.

They now have over 55,000 cards. Their new goal is 100,000. The cards are being stored in an attached garage.

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