At the tender age of six, Cooper Bell left his loving family and friends with a treasure trove of joyous memories. He passed away on September 13th from an inoperable brain tumor, but he will always be remembered for his courageous spirit and his steadfast, enduring faith. Cooper embraced life with much enthusiasm, especially enjoying his favorite hero, Harry Potter, his favorite team, Georgia Tech – and his beloved sword, which was very real. Cooper’s own version of baseball was playfully called “swordball” because Cooper used his sword to swat a plastic ball with his dad, Ben.
Cooper’s family attended the First United Methodist Church of Douglasville. Rev. Max Caylor led the boy’s funeral service with a letter he wrote to the congregation on Cooper’s behalf. The purpose of the letter was to reassure Cooper’s grieving friends about the fearless way Cooper faced his illness, saying “When you get up in the morning, you make one of two choices: either to see and choose the best or the negative. I am glad (my mom and dad) chose the positive. In their choosing, they helped me to have the energy to do what I wanted to do.”
“The letter” talked of Cooper’s special ways of dealing with treatment procedures and expressed thanks to his doctors and nurses at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. It also expressed thanks to Cooper’s wonderful schoolmates and teachers and all of those who helped him and his family in any way during his illness.
The letter reminded the congregation of Cooper’s unending faith, which will be his legacy in the hearts of all who loved him. His parents, Donna and Ben, credit this faith with giving their family the strength and focus they needed to deal with Cooper’s illness. Along with their younger son Parker, Donna and Ben are honoring Cooper’s memory by supporting the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children to help the families of other children who are struggling with brain and spinal cord tumors.