A grinning, wide-eyed youngster stands in the doorway of his Blue Springs home, eagerly anticipating the arrival of a guest.
“Wait a minute, please, wait just a minute,” 8-year-old Brecken Simmons says, as he is greeted by his dog, Findley.
The third grader at James Lewis Elementary School is trying to get a leash hooked onto Findley’s collar as he wiggles and jumps to greet this newcomer.
“Sorry,” Brecken adds, “Findley loves guests. I just don’t want him jumping on you.”
Moments after getting Findley on a leash, a trash truck pulls into Brecken’s neighborhood, and the youngster grins and says, “Watch this!”
He pumps his arm twice and gets two loud toots off the truck’s horn.
“They’re my friends,”Brecken said, “I love those guys.”
It would be hard to find someone who is not Brecken’s friend. He talks about hanging with “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet, “Saturday Night Live” alum-turned-movie-star Jason Sudeikis, members of the Kansas City Comets and Mavericks and his best friend, Bob.
That’s Blue Springs Police Chief Bob Muenz.
Brecken and “Bob” became close friends when the youngster, who is undergoing weekly chemotherapy treatments to stop the growth of a brain tumor, manned a lemonade stand this past July.
“The police are my very best friends,” said Brecken, who wears a plastic police badge and proudly said he will be dressed as a police officer for Halloween. “They’re the best. They need money to help keep us safe, and I had my lemonade stand to help raise money for them.”
Moments after he opened the stand, and an officer discovered it was there to benefit the Blue Springs Police Department, Brecken became a viral sensation.
“I wanted to make like $15, and I made $4,000,” Brecken said.
His father, Scott Simmons, a real estate agent in Blue Springs who is happy to take a back seat to his energetic son, nods in agreement.
“He did make over $4,000 with his lemonade stand, and we’re still getting money,” Scott said. “We even got a Western Union wire from West Virginia for $20.”
Brecken breaks in and adds, “I even got a $100 bill. Have you ever seen a $100 bill? They’re cool.”
While that money has been delivered to Chief Muenz, Brecken needed to make another delivery Thursday morning.
Brecken and his family teamed with MOD Pizza in Blue Springs and presented Muenz a check for $388.31.
They met MOD Pizza general manager Cat Smiley at the Police Department, and then were greeted by another one of Brecken’s best friends, Sgt. Jeff Sargent.
Sargent high-fived Brecken, called Muenz and soon, the entire crew was whisked to the chief’s office on a private elevator controlled – for the moment – by Brecken.
“Bob, do you have that card to use on the elevator?” Brecken asked the chief.
He was soon given the key card, and up they went.
“Brecken keeps you on your toes,” Muenz said, grinning. “He has so much energy, and is a lot of fun to be around.”
As Muenz talks about Brecken, the youngster finds a set of antique keys on a desk in the chief’s office.
“Are these your keys, Bob?” he asks.
Muenz tells Brecken they are the keys to an old jail cell.
The youngster giggles in delight.
“We see a lot of bad things in our line of work,” Muenz said, after accepting the check from Brecken and Smiley, “but when you’re around someone like Brecken, you just smile and realize there is a lot of good in the world, too.”
While Brecken is the eternal optimist, he knows there are some difficult days ahead. He has completed five of his weekly chemotherapy treatments for the tumor that was discovered when he was 5, back in 2015.
“He has 47 more to go,” said Scott. “And he handles it beautifully. I think he understands what is going on, and knows that he is going to have a lot more treatments ...”
But, as Brecken adds, “I’m a pro! See, my hair isn’t falling out! I have gel on it, and it’s kind of hard, but it’s there.”
This joyful walking, talking bundle of energy met Stonestreet and Sudeikis during his treatments at Children’s Mercy Hospital as the Kansas City natives joined other celebrities in the annual Big Slick event that benefits the hospital.
“Eric is so nice, and I have a picture of me and Jason with Sharpies up our nose,” Brecken said, howling with laughter. “Sharpies up our noses! It’s so funny.”
When Brecken is not looking at his bag full of police badges that have been sent to him from across the country, working on puzzles or playing with Legos, he dreams of becoming a policeman.
“I’m going to grow up and be a policeman and help people like Bob and the other policemen do in Blue Springs,” Brecken said.
He pauses for a moment, and asks, “Are you thirsty? I can get you a drink.”
He then continues, “I’m so happy. I’m happier than I have ever been, and I want everyone else to be happy. That’s why I like to do things to help people. And that’s why I want to be a policeman.”