Terminally ill 7-year-old gets his Halloween wish granted and fights off the walking dead.

His mission: Live a day as a hero in the middle of a zombie attack.

Civilization has collapsed. Supplies are scarce. Oh yeah, and there are a bunch of undead, flesh-eating creatures roaming around every corner — and they're coming after you.

The zombie apocalypse has become a popular fantasy these days.


That's thanks in no small part to the success of "The Walking Dead," which has been, ahem, killing it for years, and its spinoff series, "Fear the Walking Dead." But most of us won't have a chance to put our encyclopedic knowledge of the undead to practical use.

Then again, most of us aren't Spencer Holt.

Somebody call a hero? Photo by Pasco Sheriff's Office, used with permission.



The 7-year-old boy from Pasco County, Florida, got to do what many of us secretly wish we could try: living a day as a hero in the middle of a zombie attack.

Spencer is battling a terminal mitochondrial disease that has no known cure. With doctors unable to establish any firm timeline of what lies in store for him, he and his family are simply taking life one step at a time, hoping that tomorrow brings better news than the day before.

Thanks to a few kindhearted deputies, he received exactly that last week in the form of a day spent living out his fantasy as a real-life Rick Grimes.

Watcha gonna do when he comes for you? Photo by Pasco Sheriff's Office, used with permission.

After receiving a call from Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco inviting him down to the station, Spencer — a lover of all things law enforcement and zombie-related — was whisked away to the sheriff's office with a full motorcade escort in tow.

Before he could even begin to make heads or tails of the situation, he was informed that an army of zombies (played by local high school drama students) had infiltrated the facility.

Insert “Me before my morning coffee" joke here. Photo by Pasco Sheriff's Office, used with permission.

"We're overrun, buddy. We need your help. We need a team leader out there," Nocco told the boy as he adorned him with an official badge. "This is going to be an important day."

With a NERF dart gun in his hand and a troop of SWAT members and K-9 units providing backup, Spencer proceeded to dispatch any and every zombie threat facing the jail with sniper-like precision.

When all was said and done, Spencer was treated to two more surprises.

The first: a “Thriller"-inspired victory dance from several on-duty officers (a reference that I'm pretty confident was a little before his time).

GIF via WFLA News Channel 8.

The second: a minivan, donated to Spencer's family by a local roofing company to help transport him around.

Spencer's mother, Cher, was overwhelmed by the generous gestures. "This is what I treasure, the good days," she said. “Make the most memories of every day because no one is promised tomorrow."

Watch the action here, courtesy of Fox 13 News:

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Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign, is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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