STOCKTON, CA -- When Stockton Police Units and SWAT Teams come to a home, they're almost never greeted with a smile like this. But this is exactly what Ricky Buzo wanted for his seventh birthday party.
"You're like the coolest officer right now," said Ricky's mother, Lupe Buzo.
As his mother Lupe will say to anyone, every year is a blessing.
"Every birthday is special, but today, it's a day of freedom. Today is a day where we can say, 'There's no limits,'" Lupe said.
It wasn't long ago the limits seemed endless. Ricky was born with hurler syndrome, a disease that affects just 1 in 100,000 kids. His mother says it damaged his heart and lungs, and he wasn't expected to talk or grow very big.
Doctors said he'd suffer from mental retardation, and they didn't expect him to live past 5 years old.
"It's hard to see your grandchild strapped down in tubes and everything else in him, and there's nothing you can do," said Ricky's grandmother Pamela Figueroa.
After a bone marrow transplant from his father was unsuccessful, doctors conducted a trial stem cell transplant, and something amazing happened -- the hurlers nearly disappeared.
"His brain activity took off, and it went into speech," Lupe said.
His success is unprecedented. Ricky learned how to walk, talk and feed himself.
"We were so impressed by his bravery and what he's been through," Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said.
Lupe wanted so badly to bring police to her son's birthday, she considered all options.
"I really thought I was going to call 911 on the day of and say, 'Listen, there's a loud noise going on at this address. Can you please come calm it down?'" Lupe said.
Little did she know, police fought to get an invite.
"When word spread through the police department, we had a difficult time narrowing it down," Chief Jones said.
"This means a lot to him. This tells him 'I can be a police officer.' It tells him 'I can be anything," Lupe said. "Today has changed his life. Today he's a man, a little man."
Its normally police who inspire Ricky, but today, they found strength in him for his spirit and his fight.