Cody Cosay, a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, died last week, almost 13 months after his second lung transplant. He was in my 8th grade language arts and newsletter/yearbook classes for the small portion of the 2007-08 school year that he was able to be in school. Vivacious and full of laughter and energy, he drove me crazy with his constant chatter and laughter in class, but I loved his creativity and passion. He'd always leave a trail of tissues and markers and papers behind him, forgetting his binder here or book there, and then he'd laugh at me when I'd try to lecture him. In fact, it was impossible to be angry with Cody; he was a hero.

He was sick as a baby with bum lungs, and he fought his whole life for his health and peace. Last year, I was as prepared for his death as I think I could have been. He'd had his first lung transplant when he was in 7th grade, and he rejected those in Aug. 2007. Around Christmas 2007, when I went to visit him, his mother told me before I saw him that he was dying. And it sounded as though Cody was ready for some peace. But he continued to fight, and on Feb. 17, 2008, he was given a second lung transplant. He returned triumphant for the last month of school, and I was grateful for every chatty moment and bit of laughter that I got to share with him. I was especially thrilled to celebrate with him his 8th grade promotion ceremony from Canyon Day Junior High. We also told him that we'd be there when he graduated from high school.

Cody, our Geronimo (your hero), I can't believe you're gone. Go in peace, angel.

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