Va. students remember cancer-stricken classmate with Coins for C - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Va. students remember cancer-stricken classmate with Coins for Cody

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MANASSAS, Va. -

“His smile -- the smile that could light up the classroom. No matter what kind of day he was having, he would come into the classroom and he was happy to be there," said Barbara Colley.

“Full of hugs. Full of hugs," Sharon Watts said sitting next to her.

“How do you go into a kindergarten classroom and tell a bunch of 5-year-olds that their friend passed away? You dig deep … You have to help them remember the good times," Colley said.

That is what teachers Sharon Watts and Barbara Colley had to do when 6-year-old Cody Johnson died of cancer in 2009. His kindergarten classmates are now fifth graders at Bennett Elementary School in Prince William County.

Cody dressed as a pirate for every chemotherapy treatment. He believed that only a pirate could battle a beast like cancer.

He never gave up, but Cody lost his battle with neuroblastoma.

“The problem with neuroblastoma is it only hits young children, so they can't verbalize what's going on in their bodies,” said Mickey Johnson, Cody’s father. “They can't tell their parents why they're hurting or where they're hurting.”

There is no cure, but in Cody's name, the kids are working toward one.

It's called Coins for Cody. Every dime of it will be donated to neuroblastoma research.

“He died, but now think of all the other people that might get saved because of all this money,” said one of his former classmates.

“It means the world,” said Cody’s father.

This is just one part of the Cody's Crew Foundation. They also host an annual 5k where kids dress as pirates. His teachers still keep a photo of Cody on the desk.

“He's with us every day with our little paperclip holder here,” said Watts.

They are picking up the fight where Cody left off.

“It's nice that his smile is behind it,” said Colley. “It's nice that his name is there.

“He was mischievous, but he was so loving and tender,” said his father. “He was a special person. He really was. He could have grown up to be something great.”

Online:

https://codys-crew.org/

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