Sean Dixon, the Medford teen who became a Suffolk County detective for a day in August, lost his battle with cancer Wednesday, his family said.
Dixon, 16, was diagnosed two years ago with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, and lost his right leg at the hip to the disease. Even while undergoing treatment, Dixon remained positive and active, his mother, Kim Dixon, said. He continued to Jet Ski and rode a motorized bike and held tight to his dream of someday joining the force, she said.
“He never stopped,” Kim Dixon said. “He would just keep going. He loved life.”
On Aug. 1, Dixon was invited to Suffolk County Police Headquarters. Wearing a beige-colored suit and the infectious smile he had become known for, Sean Dixon raised his right hand and was sworn in as a detective for a day.
“I think it was the most amazing experience he’s ever really had,” Kim Dixon said. “It was like a dream of his that was really fulfilled.”
Last week, as Dixon fell into critical condition, a vigil was held for him at Medford Veteran Memorial Park. Only a handful of people were expected to show up, but as word spread on social media, hundreds arrived holding candles for Dixon, a junior at Patchogue-Medford High School.
On Wednesday, the school district tweeted two photos of Sean Dixon with the caption: “The beauty of our lives is that you were in it and taught us more than you know. We are heartbroken.”
Flags at all the district’s schools are currently flying at half-staff in Sean Dixon’s honor, said Michael J. Hynes, the Patchogue-Medford superintendent.
Sean Dixon died Wednesday morning at Good Shepherd Hospice Center in Port Jefferson, his mother said.
A wake will be held at Ruland Funeral Home in Patchogue on Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. and on Monday from 1 to 5 p.m. A Mass will also be held next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Sylvester in Medford.