TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Ten new officers were sworn in to the Troy Police Department on Monday. Among them was the man locally known as “Officer Superman.”
Nine men and one woman were sworn in on Monday. Nick Colaneri was one of the new recruits. He’s already well known among people in the Capital Region. He is the Hoosick Falls police pfficer who beat cancer and is now in remission.
“I, Nick Colaneri, do solemnly swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution,” Nick stated.
After a months-long battle with a rare form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Officer Nick Colaneri still managed to fight crime serving part-time with the Hoosick Falls Police Department. But Nick has told us all along, it’s been his dream to follow in the footsteps of his father and his uncle, becoming part of the Troy police force.
On Monday morning, that dream came true.
“My dad grew up in Lansingburgh, this has been like a second home to me,” Officer Colaneri said.
His father, Detective Sergeant Tim Colaneri had the honors of pinning on his official badge.
“We are proud. He’s a good kid. I’m sure he’s going to do fine here. He’s full of compassion and he’s got a lot of strength,” his father said.
While law enforcement had been in his blood, doctors say the cancer had been there for some time too. Colaneri was diagnosed in April of 2014, but doctors told Nick it likely started to progress years before that.
“I didn’t feel too hot, but I had no idea, so they believe I’ve had it since 2011 so it was undiagnosed,” Nick explained.
That would mean he went through the police academy passing fitness tests and other rigorous exams with the disease spreading through his bones, liver, spleen, spine and pelvis – making this day that much more rewarding.
Officer Colaneri quickly became known as “Superman” by sporting the giant ‘S on his chest’ while he sat through treatment. He hopes to inspire others with his story of survival, but right now he says it’s time to focus on defending his city.
NEWS10 ABC asked Nick if he considered Monday as the happy ending to that story of survival. He says it’s just the beginning.
“Maybe not evening an ending, but a beginning. I mean starting out my dream job and working with great people I’ve known for years. I’m really excited. It’s been up and down, but it made me stronger and ready for this,” said Officer Colaneri.
A simple life is what he wants. Just getting back to being normal Nick is the real dream. He says he’s sitting here today because of support from family, friends and the community, but also because he never stopped.
We asked him what kind of advice he could give to other people going through cancer treatment and what kind of hope he could give them.
“Don’t give up. You don’t want to give up, but you get up some days you don’t even want to move you just want to crawl in bed,” he said. “Just keep fighting, don’t give up and there’s always someone going through it worse than you,” Colaneri continued.
He hopes to help others…inspiring them with his story of survival, but for now he says it’s time to focus on keeping them safe.
The support hasn’t stopped for Nick from his friends, family and his brothers in blue he says that they all plan to take him out to celebrate his remission.