ITHACA, N.Y. — Following the announcement that the Ithaca Police Department was raising funds to support cancer research for No-Shave November, dozens of people asked on social media how they can help Officer Colin Hayward Toland.

The answer? Give him the trip of a lifetime.

As a result of requests from the community, the family started a Youcaring page to help fund officer Colin’s dream trip — a trip to Japan (sort of).

Related: 9-year-old boy officially joins ranks with Ithaca police

While Colin’s medical condition is too severe for him to make the trip to Japan, he would like to go to Japantown in San Francisco to meet his cousin, instead.

Colin has been battling with brain cancer and tumors on-and-off since he was about 2-years-old. After chemotherapy and several surgeries, he went into remission. But the cancer returned in January 2015. He is currently in hospice care.

In the Youcaring page, which can be found here, his family wrote:

Colin Hayward Toland is a 9-year-old boy who dreamed of joining the police department. When he was two, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, ependymoma. Though he had many wonderful years of remission from the tumor, it returned and spread. However, this has not kept him from pursuing his dreams, and the Ithaca Police Department has made it a reality.

Not only did Colin have the incredible experience of getting sworn in to the department, but he has continued his involvement with the department in ongoing training and community policing work. We are all so proud of Colin’s determination and positive spirit as well as the many officers who have embraced Colin, particularly Chief Barber, to whom Colin reports directly.

We created this YouCaring campaign to support Colin’s continued adventures. His original idea for a wish trip was to go to Japan to meet his Japanese family and experience life there. With the rapid growth of tumors, it was no longer feasible to make that trip, but he will go to California to meet a Japanese cousin who lives in Santa Cruz and visit Japantown in San Francisco, among other things.

Featured photo by Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.