Paper airplane competition held to honor former Children’s Hospital patient

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Throwing a paper airplane in school is likely to get you into some trouble, but they were flying through the courtyard Thursday of East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Kids of all ages put their folding skills to the test and launched their planes for prizes. It was a way to remember a former patient at Children’s Hospital who was a lovable little boy.

Figuring out how to fold the paper can be tricky, but adding a little love is simple.

“Well it was fun, it was a fun activity,” said Bryan Cody, 12.

Cole Cross (source: family)
Cole Cross (source: family)

All the way up on the third floor, kids and Lady Vols lined the ledge to fly their paper airplanes.

“It really took his mind off his pain and itching and why we’re here. I mean, we’re outside and it made it feel like he’s not at the hospital,” said Bryan’s mom Trista Cody.

It was a chance for those spending time at ETCH to just feel like a kid again.

“It’s not easy being in the hospital, but to enjoy having a fun event,” said Jessica Cross.

The competition is a way to honor Cross’ son Cole who was diagnosed with cancer and passed away at 6 years old.

“I guess he just kept flying the airplane over and over and running down the stairs and coming back to get it,” added Cross.

For her, seeing the little ones cheering and out of their rooms was special.

“It’s so sweet,” she said.

There were three prize categories: longest flight, most eye-catching design, and most accurate flight where the plane landed inside a hula hoop.

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