When a local 4-year-old boy receives weekly infusions for an immune disease, he does not cry or pout. Instead, he wears a smile and encourages others to do the same.
“He is a fighter, and he tells everybody he’s going to get through it because he’s going to be strong,” mother Dawn Holloway said. “He tells everyone to stay strong.”
Diane Ingram, a friend of the family, said she is inviting the community to join the Holloways’ fight through a drawing during both nights of the Demolition Derby. At the end of each evening, facilitators hold a drawing to benefit the Holloways.
Ingram said her goal for the drawing is to raise a total of $1,200 from both nights. She said she chose to instigate the benefit drawing for two reasons.
“Well, for one, to help her out I think would be great,” Ingram said. “And then for the other, I think people just, are always excited for the chance to win something.”
A curious case
Cooper Holloway has suffered frequent infections and seemingly random illnesses since birth. In May, a doctor finally discovered the reason: a disease called hypogammaglobulinemia.
In people without the disease, bone marrow produces B-cells, which produce antibodies to ward off illness. When a person has a deficiency of B-cells, they have a lower level of antibodies, so they are vulnerable to all kinds of illness.
Connie Freeman, nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital, said Cooper usually gets sick two to three times per month. While children without the disease might encounter the same infections, they usually require a short course of antibiotics and then are healthy. In Cooper’s case, he needs multiple rounds of antibiotics plus immune treatment for the infection to clear. Other times, he needs surgery.
Freeman said Cooper has had more than 10 surgeries, more than of which required an overnight stay in the hospital.
“It’s quite staggering for a child his age,” Freeman said. “They’re pretty significant surgeries and they’re all related to infections, so I think it’s pretty overwhelming.”
To health and hope
Some of the infections Cooper has faced include abnormal growth of bacteria in the ear and patches of staph infection.
“Right now, he can’t fight those off,” Freeman said. “We’re always hopeful that someone’s going to outgrow this. I mean, I believe in miracles, so I always pray for a miracle.”
Dawn said she, her husband, Brian Holloway, and their older son, Tyler Holloway, 7, hold onto faith, family, friends and their dream for Cooper: “That he’ll eventually have as normal as possible of a life and just be free of all his complications.”
People can donate to an account established in Cooper’s name at Pinnacle Bank to help offset the family’s costs. Additionally, Dawn said the family plans to volunteer at the concession stands for the sub-state volleyball tournament on Oct. 26 at Abilene High School. Dawn said all proceeds will go to Cooper.