Cooper Roberts is beach-ready thanks to the Chicago Bears.
Just in time for summer, the Bears in conjunction with Devices 4 the Disabled gifted Roberts — an 8-year-old Highland Park shooting survivor — with a special wheelchair that can better travel through sand.
Cooper Roberts, his twin brother, Luke, and their mother were among the dozens of people injured in the 2022 shooting. Cooper suffered a severed spinal cord, as well as other injuries, and is paralyzed from the waist down. He endured numerous procedures and months of physical and emotional treatment during a monthlong hospital stay and then weeks of residence at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.
He returned to school part-time at Braeside Elementary in October 2022. According to a report from Chicago bears senior writer Larry Mayer, Cooper enjoys swimming and competes with an adaptive swim team at ShirleyRyan.
The Roberts family — Cooper, Luke, their sister Emily, Mom Keely and Dad Jason — visited Bears practice on May 31, and afterward were surprised with the beach mobile.
“I feel like I am a really hard person to surprise,” Keely said to the Bears on May 31. “But I did not see that coming. I had no idea. That was a huge surprise. It’s been a huge need.
She added, “He loves to swim; it’s something he enjoys. He loves to just be at the beach. It’s a passion of his. Getting to the beach, getting down into the sand, it’s impossible to do in his regular wheelchair. It’s absolutely impossible. It’s one of those things that as a family we never would have been able to really help Cooper with without the use of a beach wheelchair.”
The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.
Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.
Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.