Tega Cay, SC - A Tega Cay boy is all smiles after his kindness toward a police officer last year was recently acknowledged by the officer himself.
Up until last week, 5-year-old Cooper Coughenour had no idea how much a small donation he made last year really meant.
"It can do cool tricks and it can spin around,” said Cooper.
He’s referring to the remote control truck given to him last week by former Tega Cay police officer Sgt. Anthony White. White says it's a small token of appreciation for the $76 contribution Cooper made to his cancer fund last year.
"There was plenty of advertising in the city,” said White. “They had plenty of golf tournaments and different fundraisers that they did for me. And he heard about it as they were going through the schools and they were doing little school challenges."
White's year-long battle with pancreatic cancer has captivated the entire Tega Cay community. Not only did he serve on their police force for seven years, but he leaves a lasting impression on every person he meets, even those as young as cooper, which is why Cooper's mom, Tanya, says it was no surprise when he decided to give of his birthday money over to Sgt. White. It's a gesture she says has instilled character in Cooper and helped him understand the true value of life.
“We talked about how expensive it is to get sick; sometimes you can't work, you have medical bills, things like that,” said Tanya. “And he kind of thought about it and he even said, 'I can't believe he bought me a present with the money I gave him. He should've used that for his medical bills."
Now, both cooper and sgt. White are on the receiving end. While cooper continues to learn valuable life lessons alongside his family and friends, Sgt. White continues on his journey toward remission, remaining ever so thankful for each day and a community filled with people just like cooper.
“I'm really blessed; the prayers, the donations and I mean the go fund page. But that all led up to Cooper,” said White.
Due to his illness, Sgt. White was forced to retire from the Tega Cay Police Department in January. He is still accepting donations through his go-fund page titled, "Join Sgt. White's Cancer Fight." The goal is $50,000.