Sophia Colavito of South Toms River has been fighting a valiant battle against cancer. At just four years old, she is dealing with an inoperable brain tumor that has spread to the lining of her brain and spine which has resulted in the loss of sight in her right eye.

Sophia’s spirits haven’t flagged though; she first came to my attention last month when news got out that she was collecting patches from first responders. She is already an honorary officer in the South Toms River Police Department and now she’s an honorary State Trooper, too. When State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan hear of Sophia’s plight, and of her interest in first responders, he invited her and her family to State Police Headquarters in West Trenton.

According to the State Police’s Facebook page, Sophia and her family met with Governor Phil Murphy, Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Noble. A contingent of Mounted Troopers welcomed them. Colonel Callahan said, “We were honored to host Sophia and her family today. She continues to inspire all of us in the State Police family. Now that she is officially an Honorary New Jersey State Trooper, she will forever remain a part of our family, because “Once a Trooper, Always a Trooper.”

Sophia and her sister, Isabella, continue to collect patches; her mom, Lindsay, told the New Jersey News Network that they have collected over 300 patches from around the state and the country, “It is absolutely amazing the outpouring of love and support we have received." If you want to send Sophia and Isabella first responder patches, you can drop them off at the Lavallette Police Department of mailed to:

PO Box 1964
Toms River, NJ 08754

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.