SOLON, Ohio (WJW) — Courtney Zelwin, of Solon, said she thought bruises that appeared on her son, Cole’s, body in May of this year were from him playing soccer.
“He said ‘mom, I don’t want to die’ and I said ‘Cole, you’re not gonna die, we’re going to get you fixed, you’re going to a great hospital’.”
They brought him to the hospital after he started feeling sick. He would never return home.
“They did a complete blood count and said get him to the hospital. We went to the hospital that Monday and he passed away that Wednesday,” said Zelwin.
The fifth grader died from complications from a rare form of leukemia.
“Nobody expected this,” said Zelwin. “He was so special. He was such a good person with so much to give. He touched so many lives.”
Including through his music, He was also very artistic and loved milkshakes, two things he manifested inside a Solon ice cream parlor called Pop Culture CLE.
Cole went to the ice cream parlor weekly and was proud to see that his artwork was being displayed there. Now, one of his pictures is being used to raise money for a foundation near and dear to his family’s heart.
Cole’s abstract painting of a pink popsicle was originally printed on t-shirts and given to his family.
They’re now being sold to the masses, with funds going directly to the newly created “Cole Zelwin Memorial Foundation.”
“Many people said ‘oh my God, I saw the shirts you made for everyone and can we get one.’ And that’s when I realized that if a lot of people want this, it’s an opportunity to raise money,” said owner Nicole Dauria.
“Where we want to give to research because we don’t want any other family to have to go through what we’re going through,” said Zelwin.
Turning their pain into purpose, while keeping Cole’s memory alive.
“Everyone just think about Cole and be kind to others and be generous and that’s what Cole would want,” said Zelwin.
If you would like to purchase a t-shirt, you can reach out to the ice cream parlor by clicking here.
To donate to the foundation directly, click here.