Round Lake village government has made a dream come true for a 6-year-old boy suffering from a life-threatening illness who wants to become a police officer.
Village Clerk Patricia Blauvelt swore in Jonah Kolesar as a junior reserve officer and had him sign his name on a document to make it official as part of a ceremony Monday night before a packed house.
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Jonah was attired in a crisp, blue Round Lake police uniform and cap that he received shortly before the ceremony. He also got a village identification card and police badge. Police Chief Michael Gillette hoisted Jonah to a spot by the American flag that sits adjacent to the village board's seats.
Mayor Daniel MacGillis presented a certificate of appointment to Jonah and offered a hearty welcome to the job as junior reserve police officer.
"Jonah, you are the handsomest police officer in the village of Round Lake," MacGillis said.
Jonah has what's known as IPEX Syndrome. It is characterized by the development of multiple autoimmune disorders in affected individuals, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Elizabeth Kolesar -- joined by husband, Mitch, and her other son, Nick, at the ceremony -- said Jonah always has been a fan of police officers. She said Jonah's spirits were elevated when he visited police headquarters to receive his uniform before the village board meeting.
"He lit up," she said. "I saw him skipping down the hall. I was saying earlier, I hadn't seen him skip since probably June. I mean, this is amazing, how excited he is and how full of life he is tonight. It's wonderful."
Jonah clearly was enjoying his police uniform in the Round Lake village hall lobby before he was sworn in.
"It makes me think I can arrest somebody," he said.
Jonah's desire to become a police officer was brought to the attention of Round Lake officials by resident Jen Dosch. She's a former suburban emergency dispatcher whose husband is a firefighter for the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District.
Dosch, during public comment time, said Jonah was diagnosed with the rare, life-threatening autoimmune disorder on May 1, 2013. He's undergone chemotherapy and a stem-cell bone marrow transplant since then in an effort to reboot his immune system, but he has a distance go in the recovery process.
Jonah isn't expected to return to school until spring, when his immune system should be stronger, Dosch said.
In February 2012, Dosch helped to get firefighters and police from 13 jurisdictions to bring their emergency equipment to Fourth Avenue in Libertyville for a grand send-off for a boy who, at the time, faced about five months of brain cancer treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.
Dosch said the boy, 6-year-old Connor Johnson, no longer has any evidence of the disease and is scheduled for an examination Friday.
Jonah will celebrate his 7th birthday Thursday.