Boy's courageous cancer battle on hold for firefighter's holiday

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 8 at 11:08 PM

DFW AIRPORT — Bagpipes and uniformed firefighters accompanied Cooper Anderson and his family as they entered the terminal at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Wednesday.

While it’s not your typical send-off, it is fitting for a 12-year-old whose story has touched so many.

Cooper Anderson is fighting a rare form of brain cancer called Gliomatosis Cerebri. A CT scan showed a mass in the right side of his brain that was diagnosed on February 1.

“You can tell by the body language of the nurses and doctors that something was wrong," said his dad, Dan Anderson. "They were really quiet... really serious."

In Cooper’s bedroom, you'll find all his martial arts belts and his Boy Scout patches. But when News 8 came to speak to him, he was wearing his biggest prize: A firefighter's uniform with his name on it.

“So I can be special,” Cooper said.

Cooper is on round-the-clock medication and radiation.

“You take it one day at a time, and that's our battle,” said his dad, who is a lieutenant with the Plano Fire Department.

Last week, that battle took a back seat to some fun.

Cooper loves firefighters — and especially fire trucks — so with the help of some local companies, he was escorted to Plano City Hall where he would later take the oath to become a firefighter.

“[I’m] really proud," his father said. "I've never really thought of it."

Then on Wednesday morning — thanks to Make-A-Wish — Cooper was headed to New York to be honored there as a New York City firefighter.

“I'm going to see the Statue of Liberty and get some pizza,” he said.

For Cooper Anderson, there will be time for medication and treatment, but this week is about fulfilling a dream.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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