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Boy Living With Rare Disease Surprised With Trip To Disney World

LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)- A Littleton boy with a terminal illness was all smiles Tuesday after getting the surprise of his life -- a trip to Disney World.

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Cooper Tippett (credit: CBS)

BakingMemories4Kids is a small national nonprofit which uses proceeds from cookie sales to change lives. On Tuesday, with help from the Littleton Fire Department, it made a grand entrance into the life of Cooper Tippett.

The 6 year old suffers from Mucopolysaccharidosis type IVA, a very progressive terminal illness that affects the body's skeleton. Cooper has doctors visits at least once a week for treatments that he will need for the rest of his life.

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"We're lucky that there's a treatment, but it's a six hour infusion once a week to replace the enzymes that his body is missing," said Christine Tippett, Cooper's mom.

On Tuesday, Cooper was taken out of school for what he thought was a second Thanksgiving celebration with his family. What he got was a huge surprise.

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The founder of BakingMemories4Kids, Frank Squeo, is a cancer survivor and now loves giving back. He hopped out of a Littleton Fire Truck Tuesday with a stuffed Mickey Mouse doll and his famous cookies.

"We decided, mom dad and I, that we're going to send you to Disney World for an entire week! You guys are going to go to Disney World, not only that, but you guys are going to go to Sea World, LegoLand, Universal Studios!"

As Frank continued to list off the trip's itinerary, Cooper eyes got bigger and bigger.

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His mother says while the gift is a reminder that Cooper's disease is progressing fast, it brings makes her smile to see how happy it makes him.

His father says despite the hurdles he's had to clear, he doesn't let anything stand in his way.

"He's silly and funny, and he loves to be active, and he loves to be outdoors, and he doesn't really let his disease slow him down. He wants to be in the mix with everyone else," said Brian Tippett.

The Littleton firefighters couldn't get enough... from hoisting him up on the fire engine, to showing him how the hose works... they were enamored with his smile.

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Christine says while some most of Cooper's organs are affected, his brain is not and he has a personality larger than life.

"He's ridiculous. He totally brings joy to everybody and… he loves sports. Like, he loves sports! It is crazy," Christine laughed.

Cooper will have surgery next summer to keep him walking properly. A six-hour-long procedure that will totally reconstruct his hips, knees and ankles. His mother says it will keep him on his feet longer.

"Coming out of that, he'll have a better gate and he'll... we tell him he'll be able to run faster and won't be in as much pain anymore."

With a spirit like Cooper's, Disney World will be one of many big adventures to enjoy.

BakinfgMemories4Kids relies on donations and cookie purchases to fund trips for children with illnesses. 

LINK: Baking Memories 4 Kids

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