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Kids Wish Network helps diabetic see her dreams come true
Amber Collins plays with Indy, a K-9 narcotics dog, at Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic’s office Tuesday morning. The youngster, who suffers from juvenile diabetes, was getting a tour of the department as part of the Kids Wish Network.

Amber Collins got to start Tuesday morning like few others have - by taking a seat behind the sheriff's desk.

Amber and her family got a special tour of the Hall County Sheriff's Office and got a step closer to making her dream of seeing the Jonas Brothers musical group in concert come true.

Collins has Type I diabetes and the fifth-grader has been through a lot to battle her disease. She was in a coma for three days and had seizures that sent her into the hospital. Now she takes four shots of insulin a day to regulate her blood sugar.

Aside from the Jonas Brothers, Amber is also interested in law enforcement - especially police dogs.

So Sheriff Steve Cronic asked Indy, the chocolate lab that patrols the hallways at Johnson High School and his handler Shad Hall to join them in the office.

The playful dog took to Amber right away.

"All the school-based dogs are always smiling and in a good mood," Cronic said.

Though she was a bit shy at first, her face lit up when she started to pet Indy.

Amber and her family got to see it all - the 1982 Kawasaki that served as the department's first motorcycle, a peek into the crime scene investigation lab and the map-lined walls of the traffic enforcement unit.

And of course there were souvenirs.

"We put together a little goody bag here to lift her spirits," Cronic said.

Amber received a new life jacket, a beach ball, Frisbee,
pencils, a T-shirt and a stuffed bulldog, the mascot of the fifth grade anti-drug ADVANCE program.

Amber said after her tour that she wasn't quite sure she would grow up to be a law enforcement officer just yet.

"I understand it's a kind of dangerous job. You have to put you life on the line to save somebody," she said.

The Kids Wish Network contacted the Fraternal Order of Police and asked for assistance in helping Amber.

Sheriff's Investigator Donald McDuffie, the sergeant-at-arms for the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police, said he was moved when he heard about the Myers Elementary School student. He said the organization will be making a donation to help send Amber to the Jonas Brothers Concert in Tampa, Fla.

"We do a lot of telemarketing and all the funds we raise go back into the community," McDuffie said.

Cronic said he really enjoys interacting with kids like Amber who look up to law enforcement officers.

"It reminds me why we get into this," Cronic said. "It's a nice contrast to a lot of the things we have to deal with."