Sara Story, NBC 5 News
Arlington honors family of fallen officer and provides special moment for son battling fatal disorder.
Just for one night, 8 year old Zachary Killinger suited up in his dad's gear. He kicked off the hockey game that honored his father's memory.
Arlington Police Officers and Firefighters faced off in their annual charity hockey match. Dave Killinger was a police officer before he unexpectedly died in 2010 due to medical reasons.
Michelle Killinger said Saturday night's game not only honored her husband. It celebrated her son's life. For this little boy, each day is cherished.
"Life is really precious and you do not know how much time you have with your loved ones," Killinger said.
Just weeks after Lt. Killinger's death, Zachary was diagnosed with Batten Disease. "He does not know what that it is a fatal illness," Killinger said.
The neurological disorder affects vision, speech and motor skills. It's something Michelle must watch her son battle.
"I would move mountains for my son," Killinger said. "And I would move mountains for the children after him until there is a cure for batten disease or I'm in my grave."
So, as the red took on the blue, Michelle and Zachary enjoyed this special moment.
"We live every day, we seize the moment every day."
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Batten Disease is a genetic disorder of the nervous system.
Symptoms in children include seizures and/or vision problems by age ten. It's often fatal by the late teens or 20's.
There's also a Batten Disease Support & Research Association.