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CHAPEL HILL, NC – William Bunn, eight years old, died of neuroblastoma in July 2010, weeks after being made an honorary police officer by the Raleigh Police Department, fulfilling a dream of William’s.

Ian Davis, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics and genetics, and William’s doctor, was presented with a citation from Raleigh Police Department Chief Harry Dolan for his care of William. William’s parents, Mark and Amy Bunn, attended the ceremony. Also present were Master Officer G.A. Witherspoon and Captain Kevin Craghead.

Dr. Davis took care of William for two and a half years. He said, “It’s an honor to receive this citation from the Raleigh Police Department. Pediatric oncology is a specialty that isn’t always known, and I am grateful for the recognition of the work that I, and all pediatric oncologists, do to take care of our patients and their families. Getting to know William and his family was a privilege, and I am glad that Mark and Amy Bunn were here for the presentation.”

Mark Bunn said, “Dr. Davis took the time every day when we had a test to call us. We knew that between 5 to 6 p.m. we would receive a phone call. He wanted us to hear it firsthand. He’s a part of our family, like the Raleigh Police Department. Dr. Davis gave William a chance to do things that he wanted to do. We got to know many of the doctors, nurses and staff in the clinic and were shown such great care.”

The citation reads:

“William Bunn, the RPD’s first honorary officer, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, July 1, 2010, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was eight years old. William was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in December 2007. He persevered tenaciously through intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, two tem-cell transplants, and multiple surgeries. In May 2009, William’s doctors declared him to be cancer-free, and he spent nearly a year in remission before it was determined in early February that cancer had returned.

At a ceremony held at North Haven Church on June 11, Chief of Police Harry Dolan presented William with a Chief’s Citation praising his courage and strength of character and officially declaring him to be an honorary RPD officer. William will be remembered by all who had the privilege to know him for his cheerful nature and for the heroism and dignity he displayed in the face of extreme adversity.

Dr. Davis, you provided your expertise in pediatric oncology as a member of William’s treatment team to provide hope for William and his family after he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of five. In addition to your outstanding medical support, you also provided tremendous emotional support to Mark and Amy as they cared for their son during his valiant fight against cancer.

I, along with the Raleigh Police Department, would like to thank you for demonstrating exceptional generosity of spirit in providing William with excellent medical treatment, an we gratefully acknowledge the support you have provided to the Bunn family during a very difficult time in their lives.

On behalf of the Raleigh Police Department, it is my distinct honor and privilege to present you with this Citation.”