Noah Cook – the boy on fire

Noah Cook

Noah Cook

VICTORIA PEREZ – Hoof Prints Staff

“They needed someone to set the whole thing in motion. They needed you.”Mockingjay

Although this quote was originally meant for Katniss Everdeen, the fictional character of The Hunger Games series, we can also relate this to an incredible person who made a real impact on the lives of all BIC students. Known for his selflessness, strength and courage despite all odds, Noah Cook’s influence on the Buffalo Island Central community will never be forgotten.

Noah was born on July 2, 1997, and died on Nov. 15, 2013. He and his mother, Andrea Crawford, were injured the previous day  in a car accident near Caraway on their way to St. Jude for Noah to receive platelets.

Catching Fire For Noah. These four word say so little, yet so much. They give an insight to the type of person Noah was and how much support he had. These words are a combination of his love of books-his favorite clearly being The Hunger Games trilogy-and his never-ending fighting spirit and faith in God. Even though it was a long, hard battle, Noah proved his strength during his battle with leukemia since his diagnosis in the spring of 2012.

“A lot of people don’t understand that whenever he was diagnosed, he only had a 12% chance of survival because he had it for a while and the doctors had just kept saying it was something else, when it was really leukemia,” Valerie Pipkin said. “People think he died of cancer but that’s not true.”

He beat the odds. Just like the character in his favorite books. Though he was later diagnosed with graft-versus-host disease after his bone marrow transplant, he stayed strong through it all. No matter what he was going through, he always kept his friends and family as his main priority.

As his friend Griffin Varner described, each time Noah and his friends reunited, he always made sure to do things that others would enjoy, even though he wasn’t able to join them himself.  On top of all this, he never once forgot about his little sister, Bailey.

“He always cared more about Bailey than himself because he felt like he was getting all of the attention,” Valerie said. “During this whole process, she was diagnosed with diabetes and he felt like she deserved more attention. She was sick too.”

Noah’s selflessness was only one of his many amazing qualities. His wittiness and sense of humor will also never be forgotten. According to both Valerie and Leigh Childs, Noah had the gift of making people laugh. He would often tell a story about a bird that would have his entire class laughing uncontrollably.

“He would get really quiet and would be whispering,” Leigh said. “Then, all of a sudden, he would jump up and scream ‘Kaw, Kaw’ and raise his hands up in the air like he was flying. It was so funny.”

Despite the impact he made, Noah was still a typical country boy. He loved to go hunting, fishing and camping. He never once lost his faith in God and always kept true to himself. He always tried to attend church and even when he wasn’t able to, he watched televised Sunday morning services.

His biggest role model was Phil Robertson, a star of the hit show, “Duck Dynasty,” simply because he always managed to keep his religion strong despite all of his fame.

“Noah always wanted to keep God as his focus,“ Leigh said.

And he did just that until the very end. After his car accident, he let his mother know that he would send signs to let her know that he was in Heaven. 

“I spent the night with Andrea and them during the weekend after he passed away, and she told me she really thought that Noah is in Heaven,” Valerie said. “She said that he always worried about Bailey having someone there to care for her, and she said that I was the sign. I was the sign because I was taking care of her now and that’s exactly what Noah would have done.”

Although he was only with us for 16 years, those years have made a massive difference. Not only has he brought a community together, he has inspired others to make a difference in his honor. He was our very own Katniss Everdeen. He set everything in motion.

“He was an amazing student, classmate, and most of all, friend,” Ryan Stuck said. “He deserves to be remembered.”

Noah’s legacy will live on through FNOH (For Noah Our Hero), a new organization started by  BIC students that will raise funds to be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Noah’s memory.

One of Noah’s closest friends, Drake Pipkin, stated that the organization will be an important part of the healing process for those that loved him.

“The only tears now will be joyful ones.” Drake said.

In the end, Noah’s friends and family know that he is happy now. With a smile on her face, Valerie remembers the moment that Bailey happily told her that Noah is drinking sweet tea in Heaven.

“He loved sweet tea, but he couldn’t drink it because he was sick,” Valerie said. “Now he can drink all the sweet tea he wants.”

Noah, the boy on fire, burns on.