Today we say goodbye to a truly inspiring young man, Cooper Vocelka. Our local paper, The Joplin Globe, printed two beautiful tributes to Cooper, here and here. Cooper taught us the importance of utilizing our time here on earth to step outside our own egos and use our talents, no matter how big or small, to help others. I believe Cooper's desire to make a positive impact on others' lives, in spite of his own illness, will be his legacy.
One of Cooper's passions was advocating for support for brain cancer research, particularly through the CERN Foundation. Back in March I wrote a piece about Cooper's fund raiser, a chili cook-off for cancer research. If you are so moved, please consider making a contribution to the CERN Foundation in Cooper's memory. Thank you.
Chili Cook-Off for Cancer Research
"Not long ago I received a Facebook invite to attend a chili cook-off in Joplin. Since I love chili and never met a cook-off I didn’t like, I visited the event’s page to learn more about the details surrounding the upcoming culinary competition. This particular fundraiser hopes to raise awareness (and money, every fundraiser hopes to raise money) for the CERN (Collaborative Ependymoma Research Network) Foundation, whose mission is to “develop new treatments for ependymoma (a rare type of brain cancer), thereby improving the outcomes and care of patients, ultimately leading to a cure.” But what really caught my eye about this particular fundraiser was the fact that it is being hosted by high school students and not, as I initially thought, by a church or other adult-led organization...." To continue reading this article, please go here.