LIVERMORE (CBS SF) — A 12-year-old Livermore boy has rallied his community to help a child sick with leukemia, using his expertise as a young pig farmer to raise a ton of money for his new friend.

Five-year-old Keegan Cowell-Lyons of Livermore has been battling leukemia most of his life. He is now hospitalized at UCSF and Keegan’s family has been faced with mounting medical bills.

Keegan Cowell-Lyons (CBS)

Keegan Cowell-Lyons (Family photo)

While Keegan’s future is uncertain, but one thing’s for sure … 12-year-old Cooper Allen wanted to do anything he could to help to a little boy he has never met.

“In a way, it’s, like, pay it forward,” said Cooper. “I just wanted to help Keegan out, you know … no child should ever go through that.”

So he turned a hobby of raising pigs into something bigger than he ever imagined. “I was trying to mull over what to do, what pays the most. And I thought, Fair auction.”

So Cooper donated his prized 270-pound hog, Courage, to the Alameda County Fair Auction. “In a dire situation you need courage and I thought, ‘well, here is the Courage right here.’”

With a sign on Courage’s enclosure, reading “This one is for Keegan,” the bidding began. And what happened at the fair’s livestock auction caught everyone by surprise. The bidding started … and it didn’t stop.

“I thought maybe I’d get 50 bucks or so, maybe a hundred … and it skyrocketed,” said Cooper.

The bidding just kept going, with Courage going to the highest bidder at an astonishing $108,000.

The average price per pound for hogs is less than $10. Courage went for $400 dollars a pound.

“I was just amazed,” said Cooper. “I couldn’t believe what was happening.”

On top of that, more donations kept pouring in; the crowd bringing the final total to $150,281. All for Keegan.

Cooper’s father, Shaun Allen, was awestruck by the auction. “I sat there the whole time and it just blew me away,” he said.

Cooper says farm life is busy, and raising pigs isn’t easy. But he knows Keegan has it tougher and so Cooper vows to continue to think of ways to help a little boy whose future is day-by-day.

Keegan’s family has set up a crowdfunding page to help pay for his leukemia treatment. If you’d like to help, visit


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