How about a mid-week feel-good to help you cruise the rest of the way to your weekend? Everyone loves a happy story, so here’s a quick one to pick you up. Second-grader Cooper Kurth got his capital-W Wish today!
At the age of five, Cooper and his family received life-changing news: he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL. Through three years of treatment and hardship, the Kurth family stood resolute and brave, enveloping Cooper in love and support.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions, including cancer. Whether it’s a trip to Disney World or a chance to meet their favorite singer, Make-a-Wish is pretty good at Making-Miracles-Happen.
So when Cooper began brainstorming for his Wish, it seemed that not even the sky was the limit (quite literally, as rumor has it that his original Wish list included the Millennium Falcon). He finally decided on something a little more of this world, and he patiently awaited his dream to come true.
And the wheels were already in motion before he had a clue. When he saw Local 15 News counting down to a Wish reveal for a local child (that he didn’t know was himself), he exclaimed to his family, “Someone’s getting their Wish! That’s so exciting for them!”
His family and Make-a-Wish Alabama arranged a scavenger hunt on April 29 that took Cooper all around the Bay area, including Bass Pro Shop and Barnes and Noble on the Eastern Shore. He received mysterious clues to guide him on the journey to his final destination along the way. He finally arrived at the Local 15 station on Azalea Road to cheering crowds of friends and classmates, chanting his name and jumping up and down, unable to contain their joy for Cooper.
Cooper jumped out of the car and waved to the crowd, heading over to the man with the news camera and microphone to receive his third and final clue. He looked to the large school bus in the parking lot, which shielded his Wish from view. On cue, the schoolchildren shouted, “Your Wish has been granted!” Cooper beamed with excitement before they continued, “Move that bus!” It became a mantra as the engine revved and the bus pulled forward to reveal a white camper with a handmade banner that read “Welcome Cooper.” Cheers erupted yet again as Cooper and his two younger brothers rushed forward to check out their new traveling home. (I vote they name it the Cooper Camper – doesn’t it just roll off the tongue?)
Now, the Kurth family plans on using Cooper’s Wish to travel to see family and – most importantly – tailgate together at Alabama games. In the meantime, Cooper and his brothers have themselves a nice and spacious play area.
Being able to share this moment with this family, even if I didn’t know them personally, truly moved me. Seeing the community come together for this boy and his family made for an emotional, joy-filled experience for everyone there. The cool breeze, blue skies and sunshine added to the euphoria of the scene, making the event as picture-perfect as real life gets. Feeling the excitement of a child (and not just Cooper, but all of his friends) was humbling, and I felt that knot in my throat that even the most grown up of us can’t always suppress.
See? I told you this would make your Wednesday better! Share the love and donate to Make-a-Wish Alabama so more children can feel the support and excitement we all saw today. Click here to donate today.
Text by Chelsea Wallace