Super Cooper saves the day helps kids with cancer and other needs
Tara Busch, of Chenango Bridge, still remembers the crowds of supporters who showed up to benefit her son, Cooper, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.
“Everyone I knew was there,” she said. “It was shoulder to shoulder.”
Sadly, his son Cooper, known as Super Cooper, passed away at the age of 4 in 2018. But his memory lives on through the charitable projects led by Super Cooper Saves the Day. The non-profit organization helps children with cancer and other needs with projects such as a back-to-school shoe campaign; collect gifts for children with cancer on their birthday; and the construction of a playground named in his honor at Chenango Bridge.
Cooper was born with Down syndrome, but he never let his diagnosis get him down, his mother said.
“Cooper had this magical power over him where he could reach into people’s souls and make them happy,” she said.
He was known for his smile and the way he brightened the lives of everyone he met, his mother said. While on a family vacation in Wildwood, New Jersey, before his illness, Cooper walked the boardwalk with his family, smiling and making friends with passers-by.
“He kept touching people as he walked by,” she recalls. “He would make eye contact with them and their faces would light up.”
Her optimistic spirit never dimmed, even after her diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia, which is more common in people with Down syndrome, her mother said. She is always amazed at the support Cooper and his family have received from the community.
“Everyone wanted to do something to help him because they felt such a connection with him,” she said. “People were dropping off meals and gifts, and just looking to see what they could do to help. “
This is why Tara and her husband, Steve, decided to launch Super Cooper Saves the Day after Cooper’s death.
“After receiving so much help from other people, I wanted to do something to give back and help,” she said.
Each November, the organization collects gifts for Cooper’s birthday on November 26. This year, he would have been 8 years old. The Busches’ dining room table was filled with gift boxes that were donated to the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, where Cooper was treated.
During the start of the school year, the group is raising money for gift cards to pay for new shoes for students who need them, Tara Busch said.
“I felt really sad that I didn’t buy him school shoes,” she said of Cooper. “So I decided to buy shoes for other children. “
All of the projects help keep Cooper’s memory alive and help her parents cope with her loss, Tara Busch said.
“The reason we do this is to help us get through our grief,” she said. “It’s really therapeutic for me and for my husband.”
But Super Cooper Saves the Day couldn’t do what it does without the support of local residents who donate and donate money in Cooper’s memory, she said.
“This community does a really good job taking care of each other,” she said. “It’s really heartwarming that people care.”
Hometown: Ruisseau du Château.
Residence: Chenango Bridge.
Family: Husband, Steve. Son, Cole, 11; and her 4-year-old daughter Hope.
Career: Sixth grade teacher at Binghamton West Middle School.
How to help: Learn about community service projects in memory of Cooper Busch by continuing Facebook at Super Cooper saves the day.
To learn more: Two books have been written about Cooper Busch: “Super Cooper Saves the Day” by Russell Richardson and “Super Cooper Makes Everyone Smile” by Cooper’s mother, Tara Busch, with illustrations by Russell Richardson. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of books goes to Super Cooper Saves the Day. Both books are available on Amazon.com