Community rallies in support of Miranda family

Seven-year-old honorary police officer loses battle with rare form of cancer

Heartbreaking news hit the Union City community, when a boy lost his battle with cancer.

Franklin Miranda, a 7-year-old who was made an honorary Union City Police Department officer, passed away on Jan. 26 after fighting Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) for more than a year. DIPG is a rare and aggressive brain tumor that occurs in children; less than one percent of those suffering from the disease survive for more than five years after their initial diagnosis.

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The Union City community is rallying in support of the grieving Miranda family in an effort to raise funds for Franklin’s relatives. Donations allowed Franklin’s parents, Mauricio and Eliza Miranda, to spend every moment by his side throughout the course of his treatment.

Now, the family faces funeral expenses on top of what they still owe for treatment.

Donations are being made at the family’s fundraiser page, The fundraiser is just over halfway to a $40,000-goal to cover Franklin’s treatment and funeral services.

“There are no words that can describe the complete and utter shock, grief, and helplessness that our family felt when hearing this news,” Franklin’s parents wrote, after they received the prognosis. “The sadness of the prognosis of this disease is completely overwhelming, and we cannot imagine life without Franklin.”

Franklin became an honorary police officer in the Union City Police Department. According to officers, he was especially fond of the local K-9 units. On his seventh birthday, officers celebrated with Franklin by giving him a police escort to a K-9 training demonstration. He rode alongside a fleet of motorcycles on his way there.

A police motorcade was part of the funeral procession for Franklin’s services; several members of the police department attended the service in support of the family, conducting the department’s rites for fallen officers.

Mike Montemarano can be reached at 

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