It was almost one year ago when the Chicagoland community was shaken by an act of violence in Highland Park. A gunman opened fire on a parade, killing seven people and injuring countless others.
One of those seriously injured was a seven-year old boy named Cooper Roberts. The Roberts family was in attendance at the parade. Cooper’s mother, Keely was shot in the leg and his brother, Luke, was hit by shrapnel.
Cooper’s injuries were far more serious. His spinal cord was severed by a bullet, paralyzing him from the waist down. He continues to do rehab in hopes to walk one day, but for now, he spends his days in a wheelchair.
Cooper loves the beach, and it’s something he hasn’t been able to do in a regular wheelchair. Maneuvering the chair through the loose sand was just something that the Roberts family hasn’t been able to manage.
But that’s where the Chicago Bears decided to help. Partnering with “Devices 4 the disabled,” the Bears gifted Cooper a wheelchair specifically designed to handle the sandy beaches and surprised him with it earlier this week.
Since being paralyzed from the waist down in the Highland Park shooting last year, 8-year-old Cooper has been unable to do his favorite activity: going to the beach— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 1, 2023
Today at practice, we had a special surprise for him pic.twitter.com/iTBgMpHjUB
The tweeted video shows the unveiling of the new chair, just be careful if you do watch it, it does come with a little dust in the eye.
Roberts was grateful for the chair, but also was able to spend the day with the Bears and met several of the players, including Justin Fields.
Cooper’s injuries are a tragedy but his spirit is a reminder to all of us to live life to the fullest no matter what obstacles stand in your way.