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Cooper's diagnosis doesn't stop his love of life and adventure

  • Cooper (in yellow) with his family on Oahu

  • Cooper and his brother Ben with a Monk Seal

  • Cooper, in yellow, and his family greatly enjoyed his wish

“ I knew I wanted to go to Hawaii so I could learn to surf ”


- Cooper

When speaking of Cooper to others, his mother Patti often used the words "go, go, go" to describe the 10-year-old as he had endless energy and enthusiasm for everything he did.


Yet, after his diagnosis of leukemia in March 2012, Patti and Cooper's father Jeff, were afraid that their son's "go, go, go" manner might be gone, gone, gone. However, Cooper soon showed that his diagnosis had nothing on his love of life and adventure, and his wish was to go, go, go in Hawaii.

"I knew I wanted to go to Hawaii so I could learn to surf," said Cooper. "I found Aulani (Disney Resort) online. It looked like a SUPER fun family place with a beach, water slides and a water park so I knew it would be my wish!"

Cooper and his brother Ben, as well as mom and dad, loved the resort. With its water park, slides, beaches and fancy hotel room, he couldn’t get enough of the property. He and his family started each morning at the property café, enjoying the view and planning their day. When he was able to branch out from the hotel, Cooper didn’t go far. He headed straight to the beach with his family to snorkel, skimboard and paddleboard.

"I saw many sea turtles and an endangered Monk seal lying on the beach just steps from our hotel," he said. "We didn't touch him but it was the closest we have ever come to a seal in the wild."

Cooper also loved that his mom, dad and brother Ben were along for the ride.

"The day my doctor told me I had leukemia, I remember being sad and afraid," he continued. "But when she told me that I might have a wish, I remember I said that I wanted to learn to surf in Hawaii. And a year later, I was having my wish come true. It was awesome!"
The day my doctor told me I had leukemia, I remember being sad and afraid. But when she told me that I might have a wish, I remember I said that I wanted to learn to surf in Hawaii. And a year later, I was having my wish come true. It was awesome! ”

— Cooper, 10

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