March 21, 2013
Social Media is a powerful and very amazing thing, it allows people to connect and engage with friends, family and at times total strangers. For the past 10 months friends of our family have been sharing their son Cooper’s Journey via Facebook purely to keep family and friends up-to-date but along the way total strangers have followed and been inspired by Cooper’s story and the outpouring of support for this little man has been amazing!
In May last year, a tumour was found on Cooper’s right frontal lobe and he was rushed into surgery where 80% of it was removed. After two weeks in recovery the results were delivered — the tumour was grade 4, aggressive and malignant cancer. The situation was serious. Since then, he has undergone chemotherapy treatment and another round of invasive brain surgery to remove the remaining tumour. The last round of brain surgery was followed in November by six long weeks of aggressive radiation treatment which was completed with Cooper under a general anaesthetic. During this treatment he celebrated his 2nd birthday. Following his treatment, Cooper was allowed to finally go home and be medicated with special medication and oral chemo from home. Many trips backwards and forwards to the hospital have taken place during this time but being at home with his parents as well as younger brother (born early September 2012) have allowed for Cooper to be in a loving and supportive environment. During this time Cooper made amazing progress with eating food again – even helping teach his baby brother to start solids. Recently things have changed for Cooper, last week his parents were given the shattering news that a new tumour had formed and grown. Their options were very limited and without treatment their little guy may only have months, so with incredible strength and courage they proceeded with surgery [on Tuesday just gone] and removed the majority of the tumour which will give Cooper more time and most importantly to be pain free. Cooper is now recovering slowly in the Royal Children’s Hospital with his amazing parents and brother by his side.
In a recent post Cooper’s parents commented “Can you believe that there are only two recliners for parents to ‘sleep’ on in the whole PICU unit?! If you aren’t as lucky as us to score one, you get to spend your nights on a plastic chair! I know where our first lot of fundraising money is going to be spent … Closely followed by the tumour bank at the RCH.” The family are fundraising and asking for donations to help support these organisations that have provided Cooper [and many other children] with life saving treatment and support for their family – they are calling it ‘Coins for Cooper’. As the family stated “If every person who has liked Cooper’s page raised $20, we would have over $32 000!! If we each raised $100, we would have over $160 000. If we can save just one child’s life through research it will be very much worth it”. Money raised will go directly to purchasing three new reclining chairs for parents to sleep on while their children are in PICU and if there are any additional funds, this will be will go directly to The Tumour Bank at the RCH for research into childhood cancers.
Numerous donations have already been made by friends, family and strangers all wanting to do their little bit to help and show support… it just goes to show how incredible one amazing little boy’s story and the power of social media is to bring together a group of people all fighting for the same cause. My family and I have made a donation and I wanted to share Cooper’s story with you all and help the family raise the much needed funds. Remember every little bit counts, if you could spare a few dollars and make a donation I know Cooper and his family will be forever grateful and so will the organisations that will benefit. For details on making a donation go to the Cooper’s Journey facebook page. Let’s rally together and get behind Super Cooper and his amazing family.