When A Secret Service Agent's Child Got Leukemia, George H. W. Bush Did The Kindest Thing
“It was the right thing to do,” Bush, then 89, said.
As the country mourns the passing of a larger-than-life political figure, members of the U.S. Secret Service are reflecting on the inspiring every-day moments they shared with the humble man they called “Timberwolf.”
A few days after his death, the Secret Service took to Twitter with a heartwarming story about George H.W. Bush from 2013—when the former President shaved his head in solidarity with the two-year-old son of an agent who was battling leukemia.
“In '13, Timberwolf learned that the 2-year-old son of an agent on his detail was diagnosed with leukemia & the detail was going to shave their heads,” the tweet reads. “You can see what happened, in classic 41 manner.”
The post (below) includes a photo of a bald and beaming Bush sitting near a flower garden in Kennebunkport, Maine. Sitting on his lap is an equally hairless toddler. They are wearing matching blue polo shirts and khaki pants.
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“When little Patrick got leukemia, a lot of the agents shaved their heads,” Bush explained to his granddaughter, Today’s Jenna Bush Hager, at the time. “I said, ‘Well, why not me?’ It was the right thing to do.”
What he didn’t say is how close to home the young boy’s battle with leukemia hit. He and Barbara lost their three-year-old daughter Robin to the disease in 1953.
A few years later, Bush provided an update on Patrick via his personal Twitter account. He seemed thrilled to announce that Patrick was “feeling and doing much better.” His hair had even grown back.
It’s no surprise that in a CNN op-ed, a former Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow said that Bush became part of the Secret Service family.
“Over the 38 years that members of the Secret Service had the privilege of protecting Bush and his family, he, in turn, became part of the Secret Service family,” Wackrow wrote. “Each day, he led by example, teaching us how to live with dignity and respect.”