SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The American Cancer Society honored a local police officer during its first ever Red, White and Blue Party.
Some know him as Superman, some call him Officer Colaneri, and others simple call him Nick. But by whatever name, Nick Colaneri has been an inspiration.
Colaneri has publicly shared his fight against cancer. In December, he was deemed cancer free, and on Friday, he accepted the Hero of Hope award from the American Cancer Society.
If you ask him, Colaneri is humble about his journey.
“I’m not different than a lot of these people fighting these battles,” he said. “There’s a lot of people going through similar situations or even worse that have more courage than I had.”
His mom, Debbie Colaneri, gives a different answer.
“He wanted to reach out, and he wanted to give people hope,” she said. “The name of the evening is ‘Hero of Hope.’ That really is what he became to a lot of people.”
Those with the American Cancer Society said he was a perfect candidate for the award.
“He had been very public with his story, which helped to raise a lot of awareness and help others through their cancer diagnosis,” Lizzie Hunter with the American Cancer Society said. “All while still going through treatment and everything else remaining on the police force.”
Debbie said she hopes other families dealing with cancer can learn from watching her son.
“Just be an inspiration for your child,” she said. “Be a strength for your child and let your child be a strength for you.”
She said her son is a hero.
“Nicky is my hero,” she said. “He is my hero. I love him so much.”
And Colaneri said he hopes he can help others through their fight against cancer.
“Keep going,” he said. “There’s light at the end of the tunnel. There’s sunshine outside, and you’re able to keep going and just don’t give up.”
The party was also about honoring Colaneri’s work within the cancer community for volunteering his time and for helping to raise money for cancer research.
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