Pickerington police wear symbol in honor of 7-year-old boy


Days after a 7-year-old boy battling a rare brain cancer passed away, the community of Pickerington is mourning his loss.

"It was amazing to see how one little boy can keep so many people involved," said Ashley Bandavanis, Deany Bandavanis' mom.

In March of 2017, Deany was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Doctors gave him nine months to live.

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"It's been a lot," said his mother after a long, deep breath.

The Bandavanis family sought treatment overseas to prolong Deany's life. And, it did by 12 months.

Along with his journey, Pickerington Police, Pickerington Fire, Pickerington Local Schools and other community organizations donated funds and hosted events to give him hope.

"We ended up making him an honorary chief of our department," said Commander Tod Cheney of the Pickerington Police Department.

Deany passed away Monday evening. Wednesday, the department honored his life by wearing black stripes across their badges.

"In law enforcement, it's a big symbol of respect... normally to an officer who is killed," Cheney explained. "We wanted to show the same respect to the family."'

Deany's family will host a viewing and calling hours on Thursday at Spence Funeral Home from 4 pm - 7 pm. He will be buried in Ithaca, NY at a later date.