Eleven-Year-Old Fights Cancer, Relies on Blood Donations - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Eleven-Year-Old Fights Cancer, Relies on Blood Donations

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PRINCETON (WVVA) - The Cooper family is no stranger to the epic battle of beating cancer, but finding out their eleven-year-old son's diagnosis caught them by surprise.

"It's the worst words that a mother could ever hear, when the doctor tells you that your eleven year old son has cancer," Michelle Cooper tearfully explained. " Words can't describe it. It's a pain I wouldn't wish on anyone."

The Princeton family of nine found out that their youngest son Malachi had non-Hodgkin lymphoma on Thanksgiving Day, 2012.

"My heart just sank," Michelle said.

It was the worst news the couple had ever received. The couple originally had taken Malachi to the doctor for a sinus infection, but the test results showed much more devastating news.

"When the chief radiologist told me that he was ninety percent sure that my son had cancer, it was like a dream," David Cooper recalled.

It was a dream that quickly became a nightmare when the reality of it all began to sink in.

For Malachi, it was unbelievable. He says it left him feeling doubtful.

"Why me?"

A child forced to hear very adult news, Malachi was left with questions.

Those same questions, David says answering was the hardest part.

"The hardest part for me when he turned around and asked me, ""Dad, what did I do wrong?""

But the Cooper family is far from alone. According to the American Red Cross, one-million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year.

One-million new people who will most likely at some point need a blood transfusion. About twenty-six percent of all blood transfusions go to cancer patients.

For some that blood can mean the difference between life and death.

But for the Coopers, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to weekly treatments in Morgantown, West Virginia and blood transfusions, Malachi is on his way to recovery.

The surprisingly peppy eleven-year-old says just a day after his blood transfusions, he feels amazing. 

"You feel like you could run across America," Malachi said.

A tragedy which has only strengthened the Coopers, now instead of asking, "why me?" This family is asking, "Why not?"

"There are thousands of other families going through this," Michelle said. "Why should we be exempt? Of course we want to be exempt, but this is the path that has been chosen for us and we just have to journey through the end of it."

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