WARNER ROBINS, Ga. - "To serve and protect." That's a phrase all too often associated with police officers across the nation. In Central Georgia, the officers at the Warner Robins Police Department have brought that phrase new meaning.
Two months ago, 9-year-old Jalen Manns was diagnosed with a brain tumor back. It was a tumor which caused psychological and sensory issues for Jalen over time.
Jalen's family set up a Facebook page to create a support system for Jalen. That's when a Central Georgia newspaper picked up on the story. The word got out fast from there and the community was quick to rally to the side of the young boy.
Arguably, Jalen's biggest fans are with the Warner Robins Police Department. Last week, as Jalen was about to leave for his biopsy at Navicent Health. Several officers arrived at his door to give him an escort, but first, they joined the family in prayer.
The video posted to the Team Jalen Facebook page shows the emotional scene as officers sat with Jalen, praying.
The officers also brought gifts of t-shirts and stuffed animals, all bearing German shepherds, Jalen's favorite dog. The 9-year-old actually has a collection of stuff German shepherds which has been dubbed "Jalen's guard dogs." All were donated to the young child.
Since then, Jalen has been feeling the effects of the tumor. He has been feeling ill and has been to the doctor several times to assess his situation.
But in the middle of it all Thursday, officers with the Warner Robins Police Department came by to visit Jalen. The family said they never intended the video of the officers praying over Jalen to go viral. They just wanted to remember the kind actions of the officers. No pictures were taken of Thursday's visit because his family said they did not want to interrupt their bonding time.
Jalen's family is asking for prayers and blessings. They have been showing the 9-year-old on the map all the locations from where people have commented to show how his story has touched the world. They hope more people will comment on the Team Jalen page with their thoughts, blessings, and prayers.
They are also asking for help in offsetting the medical expenses and have set up an online account. Anyone interested can go to gofundme.com/team-jalen.
For updates on Jalen, visit the Team Jalen Facebook page.