JOHNSTON, Iowa –It has been a long journey for a Johnston teen. During Carson Cooper’s battle with cancer, he learned how to be brave and help others do the same.
Much has changed since we first met him in 2013. He was 9, almost 10, and in 4th grade. He was nearly halfway through his 3 ½ year treatment for Leukemia. He said then, "I found a thing under my chin."
His mom Pam Cooper added, "And then one night he was covered with bruises from his knees down."
While he was going through treatment, he and his family started an organization called Kids Living Brave. They delivered brave baskets to every patient newly diagnosed with cancer. The baskets included items like thermometers, hand sanitizer, toys, and gift cards.
Pam said, “It was just a way to say here's something to give you comfort once you get home."
Now, they give brave bags filled with a $100 gift card, essential oils, and resources to help battle cancer.
As for Carson, he’s doing great. He said, "Going to school. Going to school events."
He is 15 ½ and four years out of treatment. "Health wise, we just had a check-up. He goes every six months for his leukemia check-up and labs, everything was perfect, everything you want to hear,” said Pam.
Despite spending twenty-eight days in the hospital and suffering side effects like low bone density, he never let his diagnosis define him.
Carson said, "If I could choose to go back in time and choose not cancer, I wouldn't change the history of it. I've grown so much as a person, and I’ve met so many different people and learned so many different lessons.”
Kids Living Brave accepts donations to supply the brave bags and support kids fighting cancer.