A young Wichita State fan lost his battle with cancer this week. Those who knew him say Cole Clifton had an impact on everyone. His fight for life even inspired an anonymous donor to give his family an unexpected gift.
"He had a zest for life, he loved life," said Cole's mom, Angela Norris. "He looked at every day as a good day, and a happy day."
Cole had a strong spirit, but cancer proved to be too much for his 12-year-old body. He died Monday after a three-year battle with the disease.
"Every time we would ask him how are you doing," Norris said. "It was his favorite thing, 'I got this.'"
Now she knows her son also inspired an anonymous someone to pay for his funeral expenses.
"I finally saw him not just as a mother who loves him with every ounce of her being, but for the most amazing human being he was and how for only being on this earth for 12 short years the impact he made on this world." Norris wrote in a letter to the donor. "So thank u again anonymous angel for both gifts. May God Bless you forever and always."
The family still doesn't know who the person is, or if they went to Cole's funeral on Friday. It had a sports theme, to celebrate Cole's favorite hobby.
He was a huge fan, especially of the Shockers. Cole went to several practices, and got to know the players. Angela knows he'll be watching them play from a seat in Heaven.
"He'd probably say to the Shockers, 'you got this' because he always said I got that," Norris said.
Cole was supposed to be the ball boy at the Shockers last home game, but he was still in the hospital.
The family did get a message to the team, to let them know what happened. Perhaps they will be playing a little harder during the tournament for Cole.