When courageous little Cooper died in 2013, there was little knowledge about how to effectively treat brain cancer.
Research into brain cancer had been desperately underfunded, and as a result, the survival rate for brain cancer has barely improved in the past 30 years.
But today, finally, there’s hope.
Researchers are closer than ever to finding the answers. Those answers could exist in the samples stored in the Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank.
Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank is helping leading scientists from around the world to work with each other, share their findings and make progress faster.
Andy Moore, Director of the Queensland Children’s Tumour Bank, said the “precious samples” at the Tumour Bank were the most valuable resource the researchers have.
“By studying, analysing and testing these samples, they hope to finally understand how brain tumours can be safely and successfully treated,” Dr Moore said.
Your donation today will help drive forward research into new treatments for brain cancer.
Cooper – a little superhero
Cooper’s parents, Debbie and Damian, had to do the unimaginable – saying good bye to their little boy.
They nicknamed their son ‘Super Cooper’ – because this incredible little boy was so brave in the face of such a cruel illness.
Nearly five years after Cooper died, he is still proving to be a superhero. By sharing his tragic story, his parents are hoping their little boy’s memory might finally lead to a long overdue breakthrough for brain cancer.
Cooper was just 17 months old when their lives were changed forever.
“They told us that Cooper had a brain tumour the size of a golf ball. I didn’t cry, because I was in total shock.” – Debbie, Cooper’s mum.
“We found out that Cooper had a grade four malignant aggressive brain tumour and that he had about 20 per cent chance of surviving,” Debbie said.
Devastated and distraught, Debbie and Damian held on to the hope that a 2-in-10 chance was enough of a fighting chance.
HELP IMPROVE THE CHANCES OF SURVIVAL BY DONATING TODAY
Cooper battled through his first round of chemotherapy with a strength that amazed his family.
“It was really rough,” Damian said. “Cooper was vomiting and developed ulcers.
“He went through a lot, but somehow, he was still happy. I couldn’t believe how resilient he was.” – Damian, Cooper’s dad.
Cooper wore a special outfit to his first round of chemotherapy, a superhero cape with his initials sewn on it, made by a family friend.
And Cooper was a superhero — he never lost his smile despite all he faced. Family, friends and the medical team at the children’s hospital, called him ‘Super Cooper’.
For the next 14 months, Cooper fought for his life. He endured four rounds of chemotherapy, radiation treatment and three operations, but his tumour kept coming back.
“Until that last scan, we always had hope,” his mum remembered.
“We took Cooper home, knowing it would be the last time.”
They spent his final days doing the things he loved most.
“We took him to a shop and bought him some new toys. I got him a new doona set so he’d be comfortable. We did all his favourite things — reading his books, watching Peppa Pig, and playing with his little brother.”
“On the Saturday, he became quite listless. That night, Damian and I slept with him in the lounge—one on either side.
“I remember he asked for some pats on the back. That’s the last time he spoke.
“We thought he was having a big, long sleep, but he’d already lost consciousness. We kept reading to him and we put Peppa Pig on for him.
“At 4.15pm, he breathed his last breath and we dressed him in his superhero cape one last time. He looked beautiful.”
Cooper was a superhero throughout his short life. Even now, his incredible bravery is still having an impact. If you donate today in honour of Cooper, you will help give many brave girls and boys a better chance of surviving brain cancer.
“Without research, you can’t keep moving forward,” – Debbie, Cooper’s mum.
It wasn’t easy for Debbie and Damian to share their story with you. They’ve done a difficult thing, in the hope that it will make it easier for parents facing the same diagnosis. Your gift will make it worthwhile.
Why it’s so important to fund brain cancer research
- Brain cancer kills more Aussie kids than any other disease.
- 8 in 10 children with brain cancer will die within 5 years of diagnosis.
- Research has improved survival rates for many cancers. Thanks to research made possible by our Tumour Bank, we believe brain cancer could be next.
- Today, we have the best chance yet to improve brain cancer survival rates, but to do so, we urgently need your help.