Classmates Honor Boy's Memory with Coins For Cody - My9 New Jersey

Classmates Honor Boy's Memory with Coins For Cody

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Manassas-Va. Classmates of a Virginia boy, who lost his battle with cancer, are remembering him in a special way.

"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 happy to be there,” said teacher Barbara Colley.

People describe the young boy as being full of hugs and funny.

"How do you go into a room, a kindergarten classroom, and tell a bunch of kids that their friend passed away. You dig deep because you can't show them this. You have to help them remember the good times," said Colley.

But 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 in 5th grade at Bennett Elementary in Prince William County.

And they remember.

“Just the shock of it. And just missing Cody I guess," said one student.

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.”

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