PAINESVILLE, Ohio — Since he was a kid, 30-year-old Brandon Carlisle dreamed of becoming a police officer. He loved the uniforms, the cool car, but most importantly, he just wanted to help people.
“He’s probably wanted to be a police officer since the day he could talk,” his dad, Scott, said.
But it’s a dream that his family never thought would become a reality.
Growing up, Brandon was a normal kid but health issues slowly began to occur.
“There was something going on, but nobody really knew what it was,” said Scott.
His health issues became even more apparent when Brandon started middle school, losing the ability to walk.
“It stunk,” Brandon said.
It’s hard to hear one will likely be constrained to a wheelchair for the rest of their life. It’s even harder when it can’t be explained as to why.
“They have no idea,” says Brandon. “I just want to know why this had to happen.”
“Of all the genetic testing, all the blood testing, everything that they've done. There's no abnormalities anywhere,” said Scott. “It's undiagnosable."
Despite his limitations, Brandon held on to that dream of one day becoming a police officer.
It wasn’t until Brandon and his mom ran into the Chief of Police at the Painesville Police Department. They told him about Brandon’s passion for police work and the chief decided to bring Brandon onto the force.
For the past five years, Brandon has come to volunteer at the station once a week. He tends the front desk, files paper work and learns what life as a cop is all about.
It’s meant as much to Brandon as it does to the other officers at the department.
“He’s very inspirational,” said Lt. Toby Burgett. “He's been dealt a tough hand, but I haven't been around Brandon when he hasn't been positive."
The support for Brandon is seen all over. From inside the Painesville Police Department to the matching wrestling tattoo he shares with his dad, which reads: "Tag Team Forever."
“He is my tag team partner for life,” Scott said.
Despite his limitations, it’s the way Brandon chooses to live every day that continues to lift everyone up around him.
“His outlook is unbelievable,” Scott added. “He just says, this is how God made me, so I’m fine with that.”