7-year-old Durham boy launches 'Pennies for Pat' fund to help cousin with cancer


He is raising money, not for a new bike, or a new video game, but for cancer research. He says he felt angry and helpless when he learned his cousin was diagnosed with cancer.

However, now he is doing something about it because he says he had to do something.

"Cancer is these little bad guys and we don't know how they got in, and they set up a hideout and the doctors took the hideout out and they put in some ninjas and that's chemo and they just kill anything that's in the way," said Cooper Wiese, founder of "Pennies for Pat."

That is how Cooper's mother explained his cousin Pat's bone cancer. Cooper and Pat are two peas in a pod, and this 7-year-old did not want cancer to steal Pat away from him.

"Out of nowhere he said, what if I just cure cancer," said Jill Metzler, Cooper's mother.

Too young to research cancer, he asked his mom for her change.

"He completely surprised me and said no, I'm just going to donate to people so they can cure cancer, and I think I'm going to ask my friends," Metzler said.

Therefore, Cooper got in front of 400 of his classmates and asked them for their "Pennies for Pat."

"I told my friends that I need your help," Cooper said.

He shared Pat's fight against cancer in classrooms, and the children started giving. The pennies poured in.

"Kids have brought in birthday money, Christmas money, they've done extra chores to earn the money, they've given piggy banks, they've hit up their siblings for it," Metzler said.

"I told [Pat] that we had 800 pennies...He cried," Cooper said.

As of this afternoon, Cooper has collected $1,046.50, mostly in pennies, from his school at Durham's Immaculata Catholic School.

» Click here to donate to "Pennies for Pat." «

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