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State Sen. Julie Morrison collecting cards for Cooper Roberts, 8-year-old Highland Park shooting victim

Lawmaker collecting cards for Cooper Roberts, boy shot during 4th of July parade
Lawmaker collecting cards for Cooper Roberts, boy shot during 4th of July parade 00:26

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A new effort is underway to collect cards to help cheer on 8-year-old Cooper Roberts, the boy who was shot during Highland Park's 4th of July parade, and was left paralyzed from the waist down. 

Illinois state Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is encouraging everyone to send store-bought or home-made cards to show support during Cooper's recovery.

"Almost everyone in the community has been thinking about and cheering on Cooper throughout his recovery process," said Morrison. "He's doing much better, but still has a long way to go. Let's show him how many people care."

Cooper Roberts Roberts Family

After spending a month in intensive care at University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital, last week Cooper was transferred to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to continue his recovery.

The medical staff at the rehab hospital will meet with Cooper and his family to conduct assessments and determine what kinds of physical and occupational therapy he will need, as well as other rehabilitation and mental health services.

Cooper is now able to eat solid food again – including one of his favorites, macaroni and cheese. He was also able to visit with his dog, George.

Cooper Roberts with his dog, George Roberts Family

Anyone who wants to send a card to Cooper can mail it to Morrison's office at 43 Highwood Ave., Highwood, Illinois, 60040, or drop it off there in person.

People with questions can contact Morrison's office at 847-945-5200.

In the parade massacre, Cooper was shot in the back and the bullet exited through his chest. The bullet "did significant damage throughout his body, including to his aorta, liver, esophagus, and spinal cord," his mother, Keely Roberts, wrote last week.

Ms. Roberts was also shot. She said she suffered bullet wounds to two parts of her leg, and has already had multiple surgical procedures on her foot. The injuries require ongoing orthopedic treatment, she said.

Cooper's brother, Luke, suffered only minor physical injuries – but the emotional trauma has been devastating on its own, Roberts wrote.

Dr. Roberts' husband, Jason, was at the parade but was not injured. Cooper's and Luke's four adult sisters – Payton, Ella, Grace, and Emily – did not attend the parade.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with expenses.

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