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Funeral Tues. for Columbia child who died of cancer over weekend

Published: Nov. 7, 2004 at 11:20 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2004 at 1:47 PM EST
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(Columbia) Nov. 9, 2004 - On Tuesday a community will say good-bye to an 11-year-old whose fight with cancer touched the hearts of many around the Midlands.

Cole Sawyer was a brave young boy from northeast Columbia who fought a rare form of cancer for 16 months. He died on Saturday.

His funeral is being held Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 at Columbia's Northeast Presbyterian Church on Polo Road.

Cole, who was urged on by bumper stickers reading "Go Cole Go," told WIS News 10 last November when a USC sorority hosted a fundraiser for him, "I'm a 10-year-old kid with cancer. ... I never believed I'd have something like this." Support for the young man became so intense that 5000 stickers were manufactured.

Stacy Sawyer, Cole's mom, said last year her son had a great attitude about fighting his cancer, even the rough chemotherapy, "Feeling the love and support that he does through this makes those hard days that much easier."

Cole's chemotherapy was stopped in July when doctors said he went into remission before he had a relapse in September.

Meagan Campolong was his babysitter, "I was very shocked and saddened by the news, and just knew he had a long fight." Windsor Elementary Principal Jane Fancher says the young student handled it like a champ, "He never complained, he was very upbeat. He had an inner strength that you don't often even see in adults."

Meagan went to see him Wednesday, "That night he told me he loved me and I said, 'If you need me to come back up here I will,' and he said, 'I'd love for you to,' and I said I would, he waved to me and I waved back." She never saw him again.

Principal Fancher tries to make sense of it all, "Sadness, because it's a loss, a loss for his family, a sense of peace because he wasn't struggling, he wasn't in any pain."

By Jennifer Miskewicz
updated 9:21am by BrettWitt