How did you find out Cooper had cancer and how did you feel?
Cooper’s diagnosis is that he has Ewing’s sarcoma. It’s usually found in the bones in the lower part of the body, However with Cooper we found it in his skin in the middle of the back. As weird as it sounds I was optimistic when we received the news. Upon the news sinking in, we were quite nervous about what we had coming ahead of us.
What has been the hardest challenge as a carer of an oncology child?
There is a couple of things that have been challenging. Firstly, the financial challenge. The time off from work, plus the cost of buying food while at the hospital. There is also the emotional challenge, when Cooper is having a bad day it’s quite tough to keep a positive outlook and be positive while he is feeling down.
What helps you as a parent win the day?
What helps me win the day is Cooper’s outlook. Sure he has bad days but the way he pushes on makes me feel like I have won.
What are Cooper's dreams and aspirations?
Cooper’s dream is to play for the Canberra Raiders or the Brumbies. Currently, his main aspiration is to just get back on the footy field next year and try out for the raiders development squad.
Who is Cooper's hero?
He said that I am, but I’m pretty sure it’s either his footy coach Brett White or Charnze Nicholl-Kolkstad.
What did life look like before diagnosis?
Like it did for most families; school, sport and friends. But with chemo and a pandemic, Cooper can’t go to school or go to the skate park so it's very isolating.
Win the day helps with relapse and accommodation grants? Why do you think this is vital for oncology families?
It’s vital because you can’t always get a bed in hospital and accommodation isn’t cheap. The relapse grant is vital because you take a hit financially and you think you are in the clear and catching up financially and you relapse. It takes you back to square one and that adds a lot of extra stress. The grant acknowledges this and alleviates some of that.