13-year-old honorary Plano firefighter dies, praised for legacy of strength and attitude

Cooper Anderson

Credit: WFAA

Twelve-year-old Cooper Anderson, who is battling brain cancer, boarded a flight at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on May 8, 2013 on his way to be honored as a New York City firefighter.

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by STEVE STOLER

wfaa.com

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

PLANO –– A 13-year-old honorary Plano firefighter has lost his battle with brain cancer. Cooper Anderson fought hard for almost a year, and leaves a legacy of courage and strength.

In May, Cooper was still being sworn in as an honorary Plano firefighter. 

"The smile on his face told it all," said Lt. Dan Anderson, Cooper’s dad, who works at Plano Fire and rescue. "He was just glowing."

Cooper fought Gliomatosis Cerebri, a rare form of brain cancer. 

"He has left a lot of people better," said Myra Anderson, Cooper’s Mother.

The Andersons say their 13-year-old son was an inspiration to everyone who met him. They say Cooper kept showing his caring spirit despite battling cancer and stayed strong with a positive attitude. 

"I don't know if I could've done what he did," said Lt. Anderson. "I probably would have questioned everything, argued, been a horrific patient. But he wasn't."

Cooper’s father says one of his happiest moments was getting to ride in the front of fire engines on the day he became an honorary firefighter. 

"Getting to ride up in that front seat, that's where dad gets to ride,” he said.

The honors for Cooper's gallant fight didn't end in North Texas. He made a trip to New York City where he was named an honorary police detective and an honorary firefighter there.

The family will celebrate their first Thanksgiving without Cooper. And while they mourn his passing, they're still thankful for his life. 

"You're thankful you had him as long as you did," said his mother. "And I'm thankful he doesn't have to go through that anymore."

Email sstoler@wfaa.com

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