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1 Year Since Mass Shooting at Parade Left 9-Year-Old Paralyzed

Emily Progin, Content Manager / 800.642.8399


Highland Park, North Shore, and Chicagoland Raising Funds to Help Cooper and Family Recover

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill.—On July 4, nine-year-old Cooper Roberts and his family will celebrate a complicated anniversary: the 2022 Independence Day in Highland Park where a mass shooting left Cooper paralyzed from the waist down. To fuel a healthier and happier future, Cooper’s community is fundraising with the national nonprofit Help Hope Live, aiming to raise $650,000 to assist with critical medical costs, home modifications for wheelchair access, and other expenses.

A mass shooting took place on July 4, 2022, during the Highland Park Independence Day parade. Both Cooper and his mother were shot, Cooper very severely, and Cooper’s twin brother was wounded with shrapnel. As parade-goers, family, and emergency response professionals worked to save Cooper, the Roberts family’s lives changed forever.

Cooper underwent medical treatment and intensive rehabilitation. He remained inpatient in the hospital until late September 2022. Now living with paralysis from the waist down, Cooper has retained much of the spirit and passions he had before the injury. He still loves to play sports from his wheelchair, wrestle with his brother, and listen to music—especially country music. With time, and a reduced schedule to accommodate rigorous physical and occupational therapy appointments, Cooper was able to complete third grade in-person at his neighborhood school.

Hope, faith, and a belief in a brighter future have sustained Cooper and his family in addition to abundant support from loved ones and the Highland Park and Chicagoland communities. “I believe in this little boy, and I believe in this country,” said mom Keely Roberts, who still lives with medical challenges and pain related to the shooting herself. “We do what is not possible.”

One critical avenue of community support is fundraising. Cooper will need ongoing care, a new wheelchair, home modifications for wheelchair access, physical therapy, and more to stay well and maximize mobility and independence.

That’s why the community has kicked off a fundraising campaign with the trusted nonprofit Help Hope Live. Tax-deductible donations can be made at:

Unlike a GoFundMe campaign, donations to Help Hope Live are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.

Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $172 million to pay patient expenses. ###

Written by Emily Progin