Johnston Kids Help ‘Push Out’ Classmate’s Cancer Diagnosis with Push-Up Challenge

Coop-Up Challenge

JOHNSTON, Iowa – Students at Lawson Elementary School in Johnston knew there was something they could do to help their classmate with a cancer diagnosis – and they believe it worked.

Cooper Wendland was diagnosed with cancer in July; he’s now happy to report he’s cancer-free. In between those moments, he had support from his twin brother, Jaxson, and the rest of his school, through the “Coop-Up Challenge.”

“We’ve been doing Coop-Ups to help Cooper push out cancer,” said Jaxson. “And each day, we add one extra – we add a push-up to each day of November. And we started at the first day of November. And we ended at the last day of November.”

They ended the Coop-Up Challenge because Cooper became cancer-free at the end of November. The videos and photos of the students doing push-ups every day as part of the challenge helped give Cooper a little positive reinforcement through his battle.

“It felt like I was the boss, kind of,” Cooper said, to laughter from the rest of his class.

Cooper’s battle isn’t over, according to his parents. He still must undergo several more months of chemo-therapy, and will continue to see a doctor in the years to come. But as his mother, Stacie Wendland, said, “it was a win, when we really needed one.”